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Howard Passman
2008-10-01, 08:59
Hadn't seen a thread on this. Good news.

http://government.zdnet.com/?p=4058

Howard

peterw
2008-10-01, 10:01
I'm not so sure. What I've read (including at thomas.loc.gov) suggests that this bill merely allows individual "webcasters" like Pandora to keep trying to negotiate royalty deals with the record industry up until next February. IF they do negotiate such deals, they can then pay the rates they've negotiated instead of the new rates that SoundExchange wants.

If they fail to negotiate by next Feb, they pay the SoundExchange rates (== go out of business, they say).

Any other webcaster that isn't covered under last week's 10.5% deal (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2331001,00.asp -- meaning SOMA FM, Live365, etc.) will also be stuck with the much higher SoundExchange rates if they fail to broker their own deals.

Last week's 10.5% deal seems much more newsworthy than this new legislation. And since I mainly listen to (and support) smaller webcasters like SOMA FM that are not covered under last week's deal, this new legislation offers no relief. Once again, congress seems to be taking care of the big outfits and letting the small parties suffer (Pandora may be bleeding cash, but they're still much more likely to get the RIAA to the table than, say, a college radio station).

-Peter

Howard Passman
2008-10-01, 10:26
I'm not so sure. What I've read (including at thomas.loc.gov) suggests that this bill merely allows individual "webcasters" like Pandora to keep trying to negotiate royalty deals with the record industry up until next February. IF they do negotiate such deals, they can then pay the rates they've negotiated instead of the new rates that SoundExchange wants.

If they fail to negotiate by next Feb, they pay the SoundExchange rates (== go out of business, they say).

Any other webcaster that isn't covered under last week's 10.5% deal (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2331001,00.asp -- meaning SOMA FM, Live365, etc.) will also be stuck with the much higher SoundExchange rates if they fail to broker their own deals.

Last week's 10.5% deal seems much more newsworthy than this new legislation. And since I mainly listen to (and support) smaller webcasters like SOMA FM that are not covered under last week's deal, this new legislation offers no relief. Once again, congress seems to be taking care of the big outfits and letting the small parties suffer (Pandora may be bleeding cash, but they're still much more likely to get the RIAA to the table than, say, a college radio station).

-Peter

I agree with the above, but I was only talking about Pandora. Tim Westergren seems fairly pleased or at least temporarily relieved and that's good. Sometimes you have to fight your battles like you'd eat an elephant..one bite at a time.

Personally, I don't spend too much time falling in love with Internet Radio stations because it seems I always pick the one that closes up the week after I discover it :-) Belly Up To The Bar Blues was the last one. Broke my heart :-(

Howard