FC: Internet radio fees may push hobby webcasters off the air

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Mar 22 2002 - 22:48:32 PST

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    From: "Richard Uhl" <ulyssesaudioat_private>
    To: declanat_private
    Cc: kurtat_private
    Subject: Internet Radio Performance Rights Fees
    Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 11:32:37 -0500
    
    Declan-
    
    I thought you and other Politech readers would like to know about the 
    recent Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel ("CARP") decision that internet 
    radio Webcasters should pay "performance rights" fees of  0.14 per song 
    per listener for Internet-only Webcasters, 0.07 per song per listener for 
    broadcast radio simulcasts, and 0.02 per song per listener for 
    non-commercial radio simulcasts.  This is more than 100% of most 
    Webcasters' gross revenues, including the "revenues" on my tiny (10 
    listener max) station www.ulyssesaudio.com. I maintain the station for 
    free, with no advertising or revenue source of any kind. This will 
    effectively shut down mine and most other independent internet radio stations.
    
    In perspective, with my max listenership (12 songs/hour x 10 listeners max 
    X 24 hours/day x 365 days/year x 0.14) that equals more than $122,000 per 
    year. Remember when I said I had no revenue sources?
    
    Many Webcasters had hoped that the CARP's recommended royalty rate would be 
    based between 3% (proposed by webcasters, in line with ASCAP, BMI, etc. 
    composer royalty fees) and 15% (RIAA proposal to webcasters).
    
    Note that this is ALL based on the DMCA demand that performers be 
    compensated for perfect digital copies. However, that reasoning is flawed 
    since most internet radio isn't copied, merely streamed, and the broadcast 
    is usually much lower quality than "perfect."
    
    Check out www.saveinternetradio.org for more information. Thanks for your time.
    _______________________________
    r. ulysses uhl
    webmaster, broadcaster, shoutcaster
    www.ulyssesaudio.com
    ulyssesaudioat_private
    
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    Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 12:49:45 -0500 (EST)
    From: Paul Jones <pjonesat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    Subject: net.radio: CARP comment period extended to April 5
    
    Declan,
    
    You and politechers may be aware that the Copyright Arbitration Royalty
    Panel handed down some extremely complex and onerous constrains on the use
    of music on the net by webcasters and by on-air stations doing simulcasts.
    
    Basically webcasters are dead by being priced out of the market, being
    required to do complex recordkeeping at the song and listener level,
    having programming restrictions placed on the content that are far more
    constraining than on-air and more. Fees will be collected and distributed
    by the RIAA, even for non-RIAA members, after a 'reasonable management
    fee' has been taken by that organization. All of this is retroactive to
    1998.
    
    Low revenue non-commercial community on-air stations doing simulcasts
    (ibiblio.org serves 4 of these at the moment - WXYC, first internet
    simulcast station; WCPE, 7/24 classical; WUNC, regional NPR; WXDU, Duke's
    college radio) are also killed -- unless they are Center for Public
    Broadcasting members; CPD has cut a separate deal (in our case this covers
    only WCPE).
    
    The case for non-commercial community stations doing simulcasts are
    covered well at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~willr/cb/sos/ and at
    http://www.wxyc.org/sos.html
    
    The case for webcasters is made at http://www.save-the-music.org/ and
    http://saveinternetradio.org/
    
    No one is against artists or copyright holders being paid. The complaint
    is that the combinations of a high minimum fee, complex -- and invasive in
    the case of individual listener data -- reporting, and content
    restrictions. Kill the young and delightfully diverse pratice of
    net.radio.
    
    http://www.loc.gov/copyright/carp/webcasting_rates.html is the CARP
    webcasting proposal
    
    http://www.loc.gov/copyright/fedreg/2002/67fr10652.html is the notice in
    the Federal Register that the comment period has been extended.
    
    ==========================================================================
                                  Paul Jones
                         "Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!"
    http://www.ibiblio.org/pjones/ at the Site Formerly Known As MetaLab.unc.edu
       pjonesat_private   voice: (919) 962-7600     fax: (919) 962-8071
    ===========================================================================
    
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