When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

10 July 2007

Net Radio: time is running out

In addition to Etherbeat throwing in the towel... Rusty from SomaFM is weighing in.
Time is running out. New royalty rates will go into effect on July 15th which are 6 times more than SomaFM's total revenues. If not changed, SomaFM will be forced out of business by the RIAA.

I need you to call SomaFM's congressional representative in San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at (415) 556-4862 and ask her to use her office's influence to demand that the RIAA come to a settlement with small webcasters. Identify yourself as a listener to SomaFM which is based in her district. It doesn't look like the IREA will get passed before the July 15th deadline with the RIAA's aggressive and false-pretense lobbying against it. Our only hope now is for a settlement, which ideally will be codified into law later.

The RIAA is blocking the IREA from passing with propaganda and downright false statements. And the worst thing is they're being sneaky about it... trying to pretend that this propaganda is coming from SoundExchange. Because everyone knows you can't trust anything the RIAA says. But the RIAA is the puppeteer pulling the strings on SoundExchange, and makes up the majority of the seats on SoundExchange.

The independent artist representatives on SoundExchange's board support independent internet radio and aren't trying to kill it, but the RIAA cronies have the majority vote.

At this point, it doesn't look like the IREA will pass, the RIAA has been very good in their lobbying. (Well, I should say, they're very good at hiring expensive lobbyists - after all, they're using SoundExchange's money to do it, and all that money comes out of the royalties paid to SoundExchange before the artists see it. Oh, the irony! Internet radio stations are paying SoundExchange royalties which are being used to lobby against net radio, and not actually paid to the artists. Yet they have the balls to tell the artists that it's internet radio that's stealing from the artists.

And even though we play very few RIAA-related labels, the RIAA has successfully made it so that even if we play independent artists, we still have to pay them royalties.

More at http://somafm.com/blogs/rusty and http://somafm.com/crb

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