Today is brought to you by the letter “D”

D-Day begins with D – Today, July 15th, is the day the CRB Royalty rates were set to go into effect which threaten to cripple the internet broadcasting industry if implemented. Last week at a hastily called settlement conference the parties involved under the watchful eye of Congress, committed to bargaining in good faith towards a compromise solution that will see the development of a fair royalty rate table that will allow artists to be compensated for their creative copyrights while recognizing the invaluable promotional contributions internet radio provides to the music community, in particular independent artists.

Double-speak begins with D – SoundExchange’s Executive Director, John Simson, made statements on Thursday which resulted in feeling of elation and relief emanating from the artistic and consumer communities. Richard Ades, SX’s official spokesperson, has since come out to “clarify” Simson’s statements and has succeeded duly in muddying the waters even more – and that brings us to our 3rd and final “D” word…

Diligence begins with D – Your calls and efforts have made a tremendous difference. Congress has gotten the message loud and clear that you value your music and stations of choice and don’t want to see it disappear in favor of a rote copy of the bland offerings currently prevalent on corporate terrestrial radio. Your voices pushed them into action last week and we need you to continue to make your voices heard. We’re cautiously optimistic, we can’t give up on the passing on the Internet Radio Equality Act. Although negotiations appear to be proceeding, the IREA remains our best hope until the doublespeak stops and a mutually agreeable compromise is negotiated in the best interest of all parties involved. Please continue to contact your Congress and Senate representatives and encourage their support of the IREA.

My previous editorial on this issue can be found here

Continue to visit www.savenetradio.org until this matter is definitively solved and its ascertained that the music will be able to continue.

The latest news: 

Large internet broadcasting group DiMA has now accepted a minimum, per-channel fee offer from SoundExchange.  The move, announced Saturday, came moments ahead of a Sunday royalty rate deadline.  The accepted offer caps the $500 per-channel at $50,000 annually, a ceiling that addresses limitless charges for providers that dynamically create stations.  Companies like Live365 and Pandora – which would not be included in smaller webcaster royalty agreements with SoundExchange – would be most vulnerable to the minimum fee requirements.  “With the minimum fee issue off the table, our companies are hopeful that we can quickly meet with SoundExchange to negotiate a fair royalty rate that will support a sustainable business environment for internet radio,” said Jonathan Potter, DiMA executive director. 

The acceptance follows a period of rancorous protest against an earlier minimum fee offer, though a looming deadline and continued power shift towards SoundExchange likely prompted the DiMA move.  Like an earlier version, the refreshed offer also comes with some strings attached.  Specifically, stations that accept the minimum fee cap will be required to actively “research, identify, review and evaluate” issues related to the ripping of streams in the downloaded libraries.  The technological workaround, already easily accomplished by listeners through a number of off-the-shelf applications, could become a more serious concern as the internet radio sector grows.  DiMA also pointed to an upcoming meeting between its members and SoundExchange to “negotiate royalty rates” and “deliver an economic proposal”.  The meeting was slated to happen on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, at a venue in either Manhattan or Washington, DC.

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