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Music Media Your Rights Online

Congress Passes SWSA 183

signer writes "Congress has passed the Small Webcaster Settlement Act (House of Representatives link). Webcasters have until December 15th to negotiate Percentage-of-Revenue royalty payments, and they have the option of changing their status to non-profit and gaining a delay until June 30, 2003 to pay owed royalties from previous years. RAIN (www.kurthanson.com) has details."
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Congress Passes SWSA

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  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:19PM (#4679629) Homepage Journal

    IS this settlement good or bad for the webcasters?

    There is an annual minimum royalty of $500, which means that the smallest of small webcasters may not be able to afford it.

  • by Xenius ( 626318 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:22PM (#4679650) Homepage
    I'd have to agree with you here. How many of us mainly hear new music from somewhere other than the radio? I'd say, that I have purchased rough 70% of all the cd's I own after hearing the artist/song on the radio. I don't really see how internet radio works differently. If I were a music label I would want my music being put on the radio. Along the comment from the first poster about webcasters charging to music on the radio, that's not a bad idea. Not sure the music labels would go for it as they are making the big stink over internet radio. However, if interenet broadcasters charge companies for *gasp* commercials they may be able to afford the fees incurred by the new law.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:29PM (#4679714)
    I've googled myself to death in recent weeks looking for non legal-speak about how non-profit, free-format college radio will be effected by all this stuff. Now that the revised legislation is passed, what gives?

    A lot of alumni from my alma mater were upset when our radio station stopped webcasting. That was a MAJOR connection for us. Where will students/administration go to get answers? Will it be affordable (less than 4 digits)?

  • by dw5000 ( 540339 ) <dylan.clientandserver@com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:29PM (#4679718)
    I think you're missing the point. CARP suggested charging WAY MORE for web streaming than what radio stations are charged for royalties. Anyway, most of the royalty money never reaches the artists' pockets; rather, it gets lost in the record companies' "accounting costs."

    Most people playing this music aren't looking at profit but are playing music for the sake of music. Those that use "non-profit" status to try and slip by this are going to run head-long into the IRS rules on NPOs -- and they're NOT forgiving of organizations that try to use NPO status as a "cover."

  • I've always wondered (Score:4, Interesting)

    by m0rph3us0 ( 549631 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:31PM (#4679733)
    I fully understand having to pay royalties for playing music that is copyrighted, but I am wondering if I play music that the owner of the music licenses me to play do I still have to pay RIAA? Maybe one of the legal eagles out there can answer this for me.

  • I'm Done (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m1a1 ( 622864 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:35PM (#4679759)
    I don't don't know about the rest of you, but personally, I am done buying CD's. Honestly. I have put off making this decision for a long time, but honestly, it's long overdue. For me, this is the straw that broke the camel's back. I can only hope a lot of other people feel the same way.

    The sad thing for the RIAA is, that I really used to buy quite a lot of cds. By the time graduated high school I had nearly 100, and this mostly bought out of my own cash. Even as a poor colloege student I always buy my favorite bands cd's, but not anymore. Sad really, looks like I'll never own that new Pearl Jam. Oh well, I'll support the band by continuing to go see concerts and buying t-shirts and posters. The RIAA will never see another dime of my hard earned money.
  • by dheeraj ( 183178 ) <dheeraj.dheeraj@com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:35PM (#4679764) Homepage
    I'm almost ready to go with a free Internet station that I'd do strictly out of love of music, and wanting to offer something different. I wouldn't make a penny off the stream, except the occasional voluntary PayPal donation.

    So what does this mean for me? If my revenues are zero, do I owe zero? A lot of the stuff I'd be playing would be from obscure artists who would likely not get a PENNY from RIAA extor^H^H^H^H^Hroyalties anyway.

    Or is there a mandatory minimum, as I remember reading of in previous proposals?
  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:39PM (#4679802)
    What happens to classical stations now?

    The music companies might put out an argument "Well, since we sell Beethoven and Bach CDs, you owe us", but realistically, what do you guys think will happen to those who only play music too old to be copyrighted (at least, until Congress ups the copyright time limits retroactively again ;) )? Like Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and other artists whose name doesn't begin with B?
  • What the hell? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JanusFury ( 452699 ) <kevin,gadd&gmail,com> on Friday November 15, 2002 @04:52PM (#4679895) Homepage Journal
    Why on earth do non-profit stations have to pay royalties? What the hell's up with that? I mean, come on. Isn't the idea of being non-profit that you won't have to pay excessive fees because you're not making any money? How do they expect non-profit webcasts to pay excessive fees just to broadcast songs to all twenty of their listeners? It's not like there's big money in webcasting...
  • congress - bah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _ph1ux_ ( 216706 ) on Friday November 15, 2002 @05:28PM (#4680181)
    so forgive me for being naive about this but it would seem to me that congress should not be able to mandate the prices for a service. I dont understand how congress can actually set the amounts that should be paid by webcasters.

    Take insurance for example - they can make it a law that you must actually carry insurance - but they cant make a law telling me how much i have to pay for it (although they should regulate the prices due to the fact that we are forced to carry a product sold by a private company)

    Just because they *can* pass crap like this doesn *not* make it right.

    This country is so ass-backwards these days I am amazed at the things that congress get away with without any repremands.

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