Today’s CRB rate news from RAIN – July 6th 2007

From Jerry Del Colliano’s “Inside Music Media” blog: “The ‘Day of Silence’ to attract attention to the unfair treatment of Internet streamers at the hands of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) is over.

“Now, it’s time to take off the gloves and hit SoundExchange where it hurts them the most — in Congress.

“[T]he ‘Day of Silence’… succeeded to the extent that the protest brought the issue into a more general public discussion…

“SoundExchange, meanwhile, has given us a glimpse of their Achilles heel. They want to avoid getting Congress involved in this issue. It’s their worst case scenario…

DoS“While the recent protest was being planned SoundExchange made a lightning fast offer to cap streamer’s administrative fee structure at $2,500 per organization with royalties still additional [previous RAIN coverage here]…

“SoundExchange, the group that collects the streamers royalty money, wants the administrative fee reduction in return for a signed agreement that proponents of lower rates would abandon their legislative efforts to protest royalties in the future. This fact was not immediately transparent when SoundSXExchange was spinning their offer to Internet radio and Congress…

“Now it’s time to hit SoundExchange and the music industry they represent hard where they’ve indicated they don’t want you to go — Congress… After all, it’s Congress that helped cause the current dilemma in the first place. SoundExchange doesn’t want that.

“From July 15th forward lobbying and pressuring Congress should not be one day, one month or a one year event. It should be an ongoing fight

“If the Internet streaming business is worth fighting for — and it most certainly is the future — shrewd lobbying and grass roots, gloves-off political maneuvering is a requirement going forward…

“Now, to my friends in the Internet streaming business, get smart and make July 15th the ‘Day of Reckoning’ — the day SoundExchange and the labels will remember as the day when they went too far.

“Don’t settle until Internet streamers receive fair and equal inside music mediaconsideration in royalty fees.

“Don’t settle until you win stability — not just measured in years without having to fight new rate hikes — but in increased influence that guarantees you’ll pay your fair share and not a penny more.”

Read the entire post at Inside Music Media.

If anyone reading this has been swayed even slightly by the music industry
propaganda on the royalty issue, I think two facts neatly refute their lies and

1. The 7.5% of gross revenue rate that would be set by the legislation that the RIAA is so aghast about would be the highest royalty paid by any class of broadcaster in the U.S., and among the highest anywhere in the world.

The music industry‘s characterization of the rate proposed by the IREA as “unfair to artists” or an example of “corporate greed” is simply absurd.

2. SoundExchange has been challenged many times, by numerous people (including
myself) to give ONE example of a webcaster currently online in the U.S. who could
operate successfully under the CRB rate structure. They have never done so, because
there are no stations that meet that criteria.

The ONLY rationale they can give for the fairness of the CRB rates is that “the judges say that they’re fair”. It’s impossible for them to use any real-world examples to illustrate their fairness, because no such examples exist.

  Bill Goldsmith
Radio Paradise

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