Why they gotta call everything that’s bad ‘black’? Ninjas find that quite disrespectful.
Anyway, I didn’t want you all to think that the politrickal brain of mnp is sleeping while the rest of the site chugs along. So, in that spirit, today I’m providing you with some linkage to information about this so-called Black Sunday for internet radio.
Basically, the Record Industry, back in the proverbial day, created this group called SoundExchange, the purpose of which is a non-for-profit organization for the collection of artist royalties. So SoundExchange has been lobbying the Copyright Royalty Board of the Library of Congress to increase the amount of royalties paid to artists and record companies. The CRB finally agreed in March to do just that, tripling the amount of royalties needing to be paid for internet radio. Needless to say, mad little indy internet radio stations shut down in anticipation of the rise in fees.Â This past Sunday was supposed to be the day.
The four largest Internet-radio providers — Pandora, Yahoo, Rhapsody and Live365 — have tens of millions of channels among them. Pandora can afford to pay fees on Sunday but will continue to lobby Congress for changes, said founder Tim Westergren.
“This is just about the artists getting paid fairly,” said Richard Ades, spokesman for SoundExchange. “Artists and labels just want a fair share of the pie.”
Well, the lobbying continues, but, it’s definitely scary business for all the people out there doing some amount of internet broadcasting. The record companies keep digging themselves a deeper grave because of their inability to match the pace of technology with innovation, effectively using the internet to generate their much sought after income. I agree that artists should be paid fairly, and, I would even go as far to say that intellectual property is extremely important for the maintenance of our capitalist system. Still, it’s total BS that there’s now ay to make a system where people have a large amount of public access to music, and everybody still makes their money.
In my humble opinion, this is another instance of them not thinking hard enough. It’s preposterous to even suggest that any legislation can stop people from broadcasting illegally; it simply belies a true understanding of both technology and human nature. But the arguments from the record industry are always the same: insulting to the intelligence, as if music hasn’t been around since humans have; as if they have facilitated all music ever.
UPDATE: It appears that Sunday won’t be so black after all for Internet radio stations. A new bill was introduced in Congress last night that would give parties 60 days to continue negotiations. According to an update in the Radio and Internet Newsletter, SoundExchange Executive Director John Simson says there’s no reason for small Webcasters to stop streaming on Sunday.
Thanks to Diaz’s blog we know that negotiations are ongoing and the destruction of the earth is not yet at hand. We’ll try to keep you updated on this issue, even as we prepare our REACH special report and the Drug Extravaganza.