Tuesday, May 01, 2007

They're Gonna Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse

Reading Gizmodo, I ran across this article regarding a sub-issue in the recent net radio fee hikes:
Amidst the uproar over the egregious royalty rate hike for internet radio stations, engineered by RIAA-spinoff SoundExchange and handed down by the Copyright Royalty Board, we missed a detail we should have noticed. Some commenters suggested simply listening to music under non-restrictive licenses. But apparently that won't work.
"The recent U.S. Copyright Office ruling regarding webcasting designated SoundExchange to collect and distribute to all nonmembers as well as its members. The Librarian of Congress issued his decision with rates and terms to govern the compulsory license for webcasters (Internet-only radio) and simulcastors (retransmissions)."
(The latter is a direct quote from the SoundExchange FAQ).

In other words, it appears that even if artists wish to opt out and offer their works under non-restrictive licenses, SoundExchange collects for them anyway against their wishes. And how would these artists go about getting these royalties? Why, by becoming a member of SoundExchange, of course. For only a "small administrative fee" sufficient to cover the costs of collection. Otherwise, SoundExchange gets to keep the cash.

Daily Kos has lots more.

No comments: