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SABAM Wants Truckers To Pay For Listening To Radio 337

Posted by Soulskill
from the tell-us-of-your-plight dept.
guruevi writes "SABAM, the Belgian RIAA, wants truckers to start paying for the copyrights to listen to the radio in their cabin (Google translation of Dutch original). SABAM already has a system in place to extract fees from businesses for having radios in the work area for businesses with more than 9 employees, and they find that truckers' cabins are areas of work and thus infringe on their copyrights. The local politicians think this is going too far; they believe truckers need a radio for safety reasons and view a truck cabin as 'an intimate place.'"
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SABAM Wants Truckers To Pay For Listening To Radio

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  • by JTinMSP (136923) <bigbearjt@gmail.com> on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:23AM (#35627848) Homepage
    The first quote is "Kink ready nonsense." Hmmm...perhaps I need to machine translate more stories.
    • a more accurate translation would be "absolute nonsense", the translation is rather poor realy

    • by Myopic (18616) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @10:44AM (#35630122)

      Wait a second. This article doesn't make sense even if it is translated correctly.

      It's really easy for those copyright owners to protect themselves from these people who, from the copyright owners' perspective, apparently, are "stealing" from them or somehow hearing the songs unfairly. It's really easy to do that, and we already have a system set up for that. We don't need a new governmental or semi-governmental program to protect the copyright owners in this case, because we already have that system.

      The system is called DON'T FUCKING BROADCAST YOUR FUCKING SONGS ON THE MOTHERFUCKING AIR IF YOU DON'T FUCKING WANT PEOPLE TO FUCKING LISTEN TO THEM YOU FUCKING FUCK. Fer fuck's sake, honestly.

      Oh, really? You are being so injured by people listening to your broadcasts? Well here's what I suggest you do to fix that: NOTHING. DO NOTHING. DO NOT BROADCAST YOUR SHIT, AND PEOPLE WON'T HEAR YOUR SHIT. Mission accomplished.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Artists do want people to listen to them. Actually I think SABAM does too really, otherwise there would be no-one to pay them. The problem is that because they are a business any amount of income is never enough. There will always be pressure to increase revenue so they have to keep thinking of new and increasingly stupid ways of making more people pay them.

        It has nothing to do with broadcasting, artists wanting to get paid, the rights or wrongs of the copyright system. Some idiot manager at SABAM decided h

  • by NeuralAbyss (12335) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:28AM (#35627880) Homepage

    I'd be fine with this, as long as the beancounters are forced to personally visit every single trucker in person, and attempt to extract their fees.

    I'd imagine they'd soon have a 'close encounter of the truckstop kind'... perfect sort of punishment for this level of arrogance. Next they'll be demanding fees for listening to the radio while driving to work. The publishing industry will stop at nothing to fraudulently demand fees for others' works.

    • by jhoegl (638955) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:34AM (#35627906)
      I find this interesting.
      It used to be that these companies kissed the ass of Radio stations. Who knows, they still might.
      They gave away the songs, tickets to concerts, everything to the radio stations to play the music during prime time to get their songs out there.
      Now, they are wanting the consumer, the very person that will like or dislike their artists work to pay to even listen to it for the first time?
      Complete 180 by the industry.
      Here is what I propose... play garage band songs, and songs by people who dont want to nickle and dime the consumer to death
      Fuck you big industry and suck my balls.
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:57AM (#35628006) Journal

        The industry is dying. They're going after any revenue stream they can dream up now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by antifoidulus (807088)
        Well, ostensibly the radio was an advertisement for the album. The radio plays one or two songs from the album and people hear it and want to hear more from the album. The problem facing todays music industry is that they seem to be unable to find any artists that can actually put an albums worth of music together, let alone one that has any real staying power. So they are getting desperate and looking anywhere they can for revenue.
        • by jimicus (737525) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @06:33AM (#35628844)

          Well, ostensibly the radio was an advertisement for the album. The radio plays one or two songs from the album and people hear it and want to hear more from the album. The problem facing todays music industry is that they seem to be unable to find any artists that can actually put an albums worth of music together, let alone one that has any real staying power. So they are getting desperate and looking anywhere they can for revenue.

          I really think that's vanishingly unlikely. What, the world supply of talented musicians has just dried up?

          What I think is more likely is the beancounters and the svengalis running the record companies have become so obsessed with finding the Next Big Thing there's nobody left working at a record company who understands the idea of nurturing talent over the course of many years. Which means they've become remarkably talented at finding and pushing the next Rebecca Black (intentionally stupid example before anyone points it out) and remarkably bad at developing a strong pool of musicians who start out with a hell of a lot of promise but still very rough around the edges.

          Don't believe me? See if you can dig out early studio recordings by Blondie. I mean really early - the stuff that never made it to a release. Debbie Harry sounds dire, and if she was on the X factor today Simon Cowell would probably tell her to go and become a truck driver.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            I think it's more a problem of them getting dependent upon payola and not being able to come up with an alternate business plan. The record industry was never about promoting quality music, it was always about control and telling people what they liked. They'd much rather spend a few hundred grand recording an album and a few million promoting some worthless group than to spend lesser sums of money hoping that one will make it big.

            Under the old system they could just get an artist enough playtime that peopl

          • by hitmark (640295)

            Not only the record industry is hunting for the short term "big thing", every industry is. Nobody is looking beyond the quarter, much less the year, 5 year or decade.

      • by deniable (76198) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:58AM (#35628246)
        Two different groups actually. The radio is being chased by individual record companies trying to grab a bigger slice of finite air-time. This is a collection group with a hunting license from the whole industry. These are the people who charge restaurants for playing the radio that the first group are using to push their product.
        • by hitmark (640295) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @12:32PM (#35631006) Journal

          Indeed, comparing this to RIAA is missing the mark. This would be ASCAP in USA, iirc. Basically, the argument is that if a radio is being played in a bar then the bar benefits from said music (it replaced live entertainment after all). And so should share the profits with the artist(s) involved in making the music being played.

          The basic mixup right now is that we have the actual creators (authors, artists) and the middle men distributors (publishers, record studios). Likely what your seeing is that the latter pushes for more stringent copyright in the same of the former, while shafting the former 6 ways to sunday.

          Modern day copyright got its start for two reasons.

          1. to maintain a lucrative monopoly that printers (the stationers guild) held in London thanks to a censure law passed under a previous monarch.

          2. to provide authors a share in the profits from the sale of printed copies of their works.

          the issue in Belgium is about point 2, largely thanks to the in-material form of creative works. If it had been a bar stool or glass, it would have been a one time sale and that would be it. But as recorded works can be "reproduced" a infinite number of times, the thinking soon becomes very complicated indeed. We are reaching the point where the thinking is the equivalent of a carpenter insisting on a share of the rent for life + 70 years because he was there to set up a dry wall one day.

      • by Krommenaas (726204) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @06:17AM (#35628794) Homepage
        Belgian here. The sad thing is, trying to avoid the SABAM fees by only playing rights-free music in your business leads to all kinds of administrative hassle where you are forced to prove the music you play is rights free. Most people who'd be open to this alternative decide not to bother, which is of course the intention of the hassle. It's just another case of politicians serving business interests over their voters' interests.
      • Here is what I propose... play garage band songs

        It won't work. These useless rentseekers even see no contradiction in charging you for songs you have written and recorded yourself.
        It was stupid in the 1980s when they started charging radio stations and it's become progressively more stupid since but they see nothing wrong. They just see marks to milk without giving them anything they don't already have.

      • It used to be that these companies kissed the ass of Radio stations. Who knows, they still might.

        Now they buy radio stations.

        Here is what I propose... play garage band songs, and songs by people who dont want to nickle and dime the consumer to death

        Here is what I propose, put an end to payments based on where music is played. I bought the record and I should be able to play it where I want. Yes, I know the law says otherwise. I think that law is wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Velex (120469)

      Heh, I thought I'd relate an experience I had at a truckstop once. I used to be a trucker. I was walking back from the fuel desk after filling up my truck and earning a $250 shower, and this guy comes up to me. He was an older man, wizened. He approached me like a gentleman, sort of. He said something like, "I make a lot of money by the mile, do you want to see the inside of my Peterbilt?"

      My answer was, "No."

      I don't remember our exchange exactly, but he'd gendered me female and decided I was a lo

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:45AM (#35627966)

      The idea they are trying to make us believe is that artist need to be paid, but over 3/4 of the money is going to the labels, not the artist... and really why not keep stealing money form people.

      I live in Belgium, and I am required to pay the tax for the radio (I do not own a radio, nor do I have a car) also, I am required to pay the tax for a TV, when once again I do not own a TV and never watch TV (I think it is filled with too much crap), but as I have a company laptop, I am able to watch TV through the Internet, so I must pay the same tax.

      If we move a bit farther from this, recently the Belgium government changed a bunch of other laws, such as Motorcycle (I do own a motorcycle) must pay the park meter and use car spot to park now, I am fine with this, but then adapt the price and make special parking for bikes, but no, I have to pay the same price as a car, and I have found my bike on the ground twice due to some stupid car trying to take the 3/4 of the spot available.

      It is basically the same everywhere, let's steal money from people, and let's not hold back at any cost because in the end, it is better to make the rich richer!

      • I have found my bike on the ground twice due to some stupid car trying to take the 3/4 of the spot available.

        If you have paid full car price for a car size spot, park it transverse or diagonally in the spot, so that not even total morons would think of squeezing in into the remaining space. You could also park it in such a way, there is no doubt another car can't squeeze in, but you could leave enough space for another scooter to squeeze in and use the remaining space for free!

    • by 19061969 (939279)

      Quoth: "Next they'll be demanding fees for listening to the radio while driving to work. The publishing industry will stop at nothing to fraudulently demand fees for others' works."

      Hey! Have you been listening in to our strategy planning meetings? That's breaking our copyright, y'know!

      Yours,

      SABAM lawyers.

  • Radio (Score:4, Insightful)

    by paylett (553168) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:29AM (#35627884)
    Perhaps they have forgotten the reasons why music is broadcast over the radio for free in the first place?
    1. Advertising revenue
    2. Free promotion of new music
    • Re:Radio (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dutchmaan (442553) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:26AM (#35628122) Homepage

      It used to be that music/tv shows were there as an enticement for a viewer to be exposed to the ads..NOW, the viewer/listener is considered 'stealing' the shows, if they don't listen to / watch the ads.

      It's a subtle but disgusting difference.

    • Re:Radio (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:44AM (#35628350)

      So on your cable TV there are no commercials at all even though you pay by the month, right?

      Pardon the sarcasm - but this is the business model they are after. They want the ad revenue AND the monthly "rent".

      • by AJWM (19027)

        They want the ad revenue AND the monthly "rent"

        Which is why I don't watch TV anymore. Oh, I watch TV series ... by buying* the episodes on DVD. No commercials, no monthly fees.

        * Or in some cases, borrowing them from my local public library. I'll let them worry about the copyright licensing issues of that.

    • In fact, whereever people are paying for copyrights to listen to music on the radio, they should get a monetary reward for the commercials they are listening to. For a room of 9 people, you should be paid the equivalent monetary value of 9 people listening to ads. This money would be subtracted from what the advertisers are paying the radio station. They, in turn, can subtract it from the royalties they are paying to the labels.

      There might be an easier way of solving this, I just can't put my finger on it.

  • Fuck 'em (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the real darkskye (723822) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:30AM (#35627890) Homepage

    They have either paid for the music on CD, or the radio stations have already paid their dues.

    What's next, people who whistle getting charged for public performances?

    • Re:Fuck 'em (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dejanc (1528235) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:54AM (#35628386)

      What's next, people who whistle getting charged for public performances?

      We have a similar thing going on in Serbia - local RIAA-likes going to public places and extracting money from establishments that own a radio. At a hair dresser's salon they charged the owner a fee for public/commercial use of music for hearing a ringtone of her cellphone. I kid you not...

    • Re:Fuck 'em (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @04:28AM (#35628492)

      What's next, people who whistle getting charged for public performances?

      They have tried. I have a neighbor who used to whistle popular tunes. Another neighbor, after trying complaining to the police, then called the American Society of Composers And Publishers, in an effort to silence the whistling. ASCAP lawyers then sent him a Cease and Desist letter, threatening to sue him for the maximum infringement penalty if he did not pay them a settlement immediately. AFAIK, the guy never paid any settlement, but neither did ASCAP further pursue the matter. (And the whistling ended.)

    • Well, whistle a copyrighted tune through a microphone in front of a crowd in Belgium, and SABAM may well show up to collect. They even show up at live concerts of independent artists not affiliated with them, and demand payment unless they can prove that they have not done any covers during the entire night, and only played their own original work. And even then, they try to bully you into paying anyway.
  • by Reed Solomon (897367) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:37AM (#35627924) Homepage

    SABAM already has a system in place to extract fees from businesses for having radios in the work area for businesses with more than 9 employees

    how nice for them

    Who did they throw money at in order to get such a nonsensical perk?

  • Assuming Belgium radio royalties for broadcast music works on a similar basis to elsewhere (and I believe it does) then the radio station has already paid a royalty for broadcast. Claiming a second royalty seems extremely dubious.

  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:40AM (#35627940)

    The radio station broadcasting it already paid the royalties for a license to broadcast it.

    Double dipping hogwash.

  • by SimonInOz (579741) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:50AM (#35627976)

    We always come back to the same thing - money. Radio stations make money - like Google, like free-to-air television - with adverts. Therefore they want to get the maximum exposure to their transmissions possible. It is in their interests to achieve that by including a decent DJ, reasonable news, maybe some talkback - oh, and music. It is, surely, the radio station's responsibility to do that legally.

    Let's use a car analogy ... ok, truck analogy.
    I buy a truck from Ford. Off I go, driving about. Sometimes at night.
    I don't expect the manufacturer of the headlights to come along and say "Hey, you are using my lights a lot, you have to pay me extra money".

    So why the heck should it happen here?

    And why pick on truckies (not a group, actually, I'd choose to pick on, but there you go)? Why not - well, anyone?

    • And why pick on truckies (not a group, actually, I'd choose to pick on, but there you go)? Why not - well, anyone?

      Because truckers are working while they're listening and they already have legal precedent for charging fees for workers listening to the radio.

      • by sg_oneill (159032)

        Because truckers are working while they're listening and they already have legal precedent for charging fees for workers listening to the radio.

        But the difference is, when its in a shop or mall or something, its a performance of sort, because your playing strangers music so whilst I *still* think its dubious its more to do with playing music in a publicly available place. A truck, even though its a workplace will have precisely one, at most two, people, in a private space , no different to listening to musi

    • Re:Money (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:15AM (#35628084) Homepage

      And why pick on truckies (not a group, actually, I'd choose to pick on, but there you go)? Why not - well, anyone?

      Because that's step 5 of their plan.
      Step 2 will be taxi's and public transport.
      Step 3 includes ALL business cars during business hours.
      Step 4 is to tax all vehicles used to commute to work.
      Step 5 is just to tax every vehicle.
      It takes some time for each of these steps to go from "completely unreasonable" to "just a bit les reasonable than the previous law".

      • Taxis already pay SABAM. Hell, even kindergartens have to pay up! Because, you know, the lyrics to some of the songs they are singing are copyrighted!
    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      I don't expect the manufacturer of the headlights to come along and say "Hey, you are using my lights a lot, you have to pay me extra money".

      No, it's more like the headlight manufacturer is going house to house knocking on doors and trying to extract money from the people who did anything whatsoever while you shined your light at them while driving past.

  • by Mathinker (909784) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:03AM (#35628032) Journal

    I just couldn't get the image of some suit having to say "SABAM!" in order to turn into a super-copyright-dues-collector in red tights with a yellow lightning bolt.

    Oooops, I guess now I have to go pay DC Comics their pound of flesh.... will it never stop?

  • by EEPROMS (889169) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:05AM (#35628042)
    Im a middle aged senior management IT guy and last year I realised I had not heard a new song on the radio in two (2) years even though I listen to 9 hours of radio a week. You see I listen to podacasts as my free time is split up all over the place so normal radio programming does not meet my needs as I would miss half the program when I get called away. But at the same time I have heard lots of adverts in the last year. If I was a musician I would be worrying because there is a medium to high income group of professionals now who thanks to the stupidity of the record labels "never ever can hear their music". So my money stays in my pocket and mu CD collection of years gone past gets taken out and played every now and again, pretty dumb in my view and a really stupid way to promote a product that needs to be heard before it can be sold.
  • by Menkhaf (627996) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:12AM (#35628070)

    KODA, the Danish equivalent of RIAA, had a case in Højesteret (Danish High Court) in 2003 that basically said that when you're at work, the broadcast licence rules for companies is in effect, even if you're a single trucker in a truck.
    Only a few articles in Danish media covered it then. Here's the official statement from KODA at the time and a [archive.org]Google translation here [google.com]

    (weird links in preview -- wonder how they'll look when I press submit...)

  • To the sound of a business model in death throes. One day we will hear the death rattle, the conciliatory tones of the record industry industry executives saying they were too aggressive, should of adapted sooner and that they are changing the way they do business so it's of benefit to the consumer.
  • Simple response (Score:4, Informative)

    by Desert Raven (52125) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:25AM (#35628120)

    If I was representing the truckers, I'd say "Sure, no problem, we just won't transport any loads carrying your goods anymore."

    See how quickly they decide a few dollars in licensing revenue is not worth losing all retail sales.

  • ASSCAP, Asscrap, Monday (NNN) — After its recent successes suing girl scouts over singing copyrighted songs around campfires, the American Super-Society of Composers, Authors and Performers has filed a brief in a lawsuit against AT&T arguing that its members deserve payment every time a mobile phone rings [newstechnica.com].

    The owners of the musical compositions are already paid for each ringtone download, but this does not cover ASCAP public performance royalties.

    "The musicians and songwriters are the true creators of objective value in society," said ASCAP spokesdroid Ayn Rand. "They deserve your support. How would civilisation survive without Crazy Frog or the Nokia Tune? Which changes one note from the 1902 'Gran Vals' by Francisco Tárrega, so is completely original and deserving of royalties.

    "To this end, we are bringing suits against those individuals who, having purchased RIAA-licensed ringtones, do not then silence them when in public. Statutory damages of $80,000 should have a salutary effect on our coffers and, of course, our public image."

    Further lawsuits will then be brought against those who silence their mobile phones. "4'33' by John Cage is a copyrighted work. Without the money going to his estate, he may never write another measured piece of silence again." This will be followed by suits against those whistling or humming music in public, then those thinking about music in any form without a licence.

    In support of their position, ASCAP pointed to vast public outpourings of sympathy from millions of people who never wanted to hear a tinny thirty-second burst of cheesy synthetic R&B coming from a phone ever again in their lives.

  • Bah. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:52AM (#35628226)

    I'm sorry, if you don't want anyone to listen to your music, don't broadcast it.

    This is like people who post shit on the web and get butthurt when people link to it. If you don't want people having whatever it is you're serving, don't put a computer on the web that doles it out in response to a HTTP GET request.

    If you don't want people listening to your music, don't broadcast it as an unencrypted FM signal. You should not be able to broadcast something in the clear and then put conditions on who can tune in.

    • Re:Bah. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:56AM (#35628388) Homepage

      I would say "if you don't want your content available for free on the internet, then don't make it available without authentication." I know that is what you said, but it is less clear.

      It's not that they "don't want something." It's that they want more. They already get money from radio stations for "publicly performing" the music. Now they want to charge the audience for listening too. They are just expanding their collection efforts the same way governments seek to justify collecting more money by taxing the same things over and over and over again the way they do with gasoline and other things.

      Will the RIAA and the like ever see "enough money"? The answer is obviously no, they won't. And if they are allowed to continue without limits, they will consume ALL money. So naturally, if they are to exist, they must be limited in some way at some point. The answer to all of this is drawing that line and not letting them push that line any further.

  • by pep939 (1957678) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:43AM (#35628346)

    They are the worst administration in our country... I have experienced people around me saying the worst things about the SABAM and its dumb rules on countless occasions. They are the bureaucratic death of the true love for music. Worst thing is, more often than rarely, they don't even pay the artists, or they ask fees for non-existing/unregistered artists!

    This flemish [BE] TV crew exposed them some time ago... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZAsa9QmQO8 [youtube.com]/p

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:44AM (#35628352) Homepage

    At least in the US, radio stations have to pay to play (perform) music to an audience. I suspect that is pretty much the same everywhere. That "performance for an audience" has already been paid for. How can they justify also charging the audience as well?

  • by WillyWanker (1502057) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:45AM (#35628356)
    Nice to see that it's not just the RIAA that's batshit crazy.
  • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @03:52AM (#35628378)
    This is double taxation sort of. Most people pay fees for listening to music at home and then more fees need to be paid in order to listen to the same stuff somewhere else.
  • Belgian BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TiZon (1951856) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @05:16AM (#35628636)
    I genuinely hate these people as much as Sony... Some of the taxes they ask: 1. Tax on a blank cd/dvd (you might use it to pirate music) 2. Tax on a DVD/CD-Burner (you might use it to pirate music) 3. Tax on music you buy (you might pirate it) 4. Extra tax if you buy the music online (you might pirate it more easely) 5. Tax on HDD/USB/Media players (you could store some of their music on it) 6. Tax on listening to the radio at work 7. Tax when you give a party and play music 8. Tax when you are a DJ and use the music at a party When is the last time you had to go to jail because you bought a screwdriver? (You could kill someone with it, you know...) Crazy BS...
  • by maroberts (15852) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @06:46AM (#35628884) Homepage Journal
    "Change gear, change gear, change gear, check mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day." (/clarkson)
  • by Zero_DgZ (1047348) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @10:20AM (#35629918)

    Isn't broadcast radio already paid for by advertising? I thought the process went like this: Advertisers pay radio station, who uses a portion of said revenue to pay for licenses to broadcast songs. Beyond that, I fail to see how it should matter how or where anyone within broadcast range tunes in. The local recording industry already has their money. If they want more, maybe they should renegotiate with the radio stations or pull their licenses and start their own radio stations, cutting out the middleman.

    Beyond that, I believe they can very well fuck off. How the hell are they going to enforce this, stick a microphone in every truck cab to hear what the driver's listening to?

  • by houghi (78078) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:12PM (#35631308)

    Worst is that we don't even HAVE a government that we can overthrow, like e.g. Egypt.

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