overhaul / undertow

Monday, May 13, 2002

Fans of the free exchange of culture, ideas, opinions, news, etc. over the Internet take warning. This is what you are up against.

This borders on a violation of first amendment rights, btw.

When this kind of thing happens to broadcast news or newspapers, people scream freedom of the press, conflict of interest, freedom of speech. When this happens on the Net...

What will we say?

Sent to me by a friend from the radio station:

"this comes from a question and answer on saveinternetradio.org

the quote basically says that it is "desirable" to wipe out
all the small broadcasters because they are "marginal economic

Did someone say Fuck the RIAA?"


Here's some of the text from that link:

"Dear Save Internet Radio,

I run a small DIY webcast that makes abolutely no money (no banner ads, no affiliate revenues, nada). We offer the most obscure music imaginable, music that would never be played on commerical radio, let alone college or freeform stations. In reading over the CARP proposal, I have several questions that maybe someone out there can help me with.

1)90-95% of the tracks broadcast on my site are from labels that are not members of the RIAA, either small independents, long out-of-business, or foreign. Would I have to pay royalties on non-RIAA label music, and if so, is the RIAA going to somehow track them down to give them my payments? Even labels not based in the US?

2)As an individual "webcaster" generating $0 of revenue, the $500 minimum annual fee is rather expensive. Who is this fee going to? The RIAA? The US Gov't? Divided amongst the copyright holders of the webcasted songs? And what is this annual fee for, since I will be paying royalties already?

3)I am my biggest listener. My site is like a huge virtual mixed-tape from my record collection. Do I have to pay royalties on songs that I download from my site from albums and CDs that I have already paid for?

I strongly believe there should be an "amateur license" of some sort for non-profit hobby webcasters. These sites are offering free promotion and advertising for artists and record labels, out of the individual's pocket, purely for the love of the music."

To answer this question, here is the RIAA's response:

as excerpted from the proceedings-
Dr. Nagle testified that the Panel (CARP)should accord no weight to agreements with licensees which are unable to endure in the marketplace. Dr. Nagle rested his overall analysis on the fundamental assumption that the current webcasting industry consists of a large number of marginal or insignificant entities and that a dramatic “shake out” must and will occur. This, in his view, is both inevitable and desirable because it will bring about market consolidation, which will result in the emergence of a far smaller number of viable webcaster companies. These, in turn, will be able to prosper and endure(operate at a “sustainable scale at this future point of viability” and, not incidentally, be able to afford significantly higher royalty payments to copyright owners. The actions of the marginal economic entities which are fated to disappear in this process, in Dr. Nagle’s view, are economically inconsequential and offer virtually no probative value as benchmarks for setting future royalty rates.
-Dr. Thomas T. Nagle, is one of the RIAA’s lead economic experts.

I feel ill.


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