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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 11:28 AM
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QUOTE (sisterknight @ 07-Mar-2007, 06:18 AM)
god forbid it goes through, but can higlander radio come to canada?or scotland?or ireland?or germany?...i mean CR also has international listeners as well....so your gouvernment is cutting off it's nose to spite it's collective face. it's too bad that all those petitions can't be signed by all listeners
sorry, it's just frustrating not really being able to get involved.. sad.gif

Those optioins have / are being looked at by many webcasters as a possible solution. But they are not holding out much hope.

Oh but you can help! Spread the word to everyone you know. Write to the US Ambassador or Consulate in your country. Voice your opinion! Let them know that it is not just an "American" problem. Write to the record labels and the musicians themselves, let your voice be heard.


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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 01:13 PM
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This article explains the situation quite nicely.

QUOTE
The End Of Internet Radio As We Know It
Copyright Protection Board Deals Fatal Blow to Ad-Free Internet Radio

By Martin H. Bosworth
ConsumerAffairs.Com

March 5, 2007

It may be time to dust off the old FM radio that's been collecting dust the past few years.

The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has endorsed a plan by SoundExchange, the royalty-collections division of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), to retroactively raise the fees Internet radio broadcasters must pay to broadcast their music.

The royalty increases are so high that many Web-based radio stations will have to go out of business or dramatically increase advertising to cover the royalty fees.

"It's the end of Internet radio as we know it," one broadcaster fumed. "The RIAA wants to put us all out of business."

The CRB's new royalty structure begins at $.0008 per performance, retroactive to January of 2006. While that may not seem like a lot at first, the CRB decision defines "per performance" for Web radio as streaming one song to one listener.

Kurt Hanson, writing for his Radio And Internet Newsletter (RAIN), calculated that an average Web radio station that plays 16 songs per hour would owe 1.28 cents per listener per hour. And the more listeners per hour, the more royalty fees the station would have to pay, "in the ballpark of 100% or more of total revenues," according to Hanson.

The rates would continue to increase each year. In 2007, Web broacasters would owe $.0011, $.0014 in 2008, $.0018 in 2009, and $.0019 in 2010. Those royalty fees only cover the actual broadcast of the songs to listeners -- the station owners would also have to pay royalties to the performers as well.

The owners of SaveNetRadio.org claimed that a royalty fee of $.0011 would tally up to "about 1.76c per hour, per listener. A station with [an average of 500 listeners] would be hit with fees of $211 per day, $6,336 a month or $76,000 a year."

"This amount of money is beyond the resources of all but the very wealthiest of corporations," they said in a post on their site. "Many of the internet radio stations are run by enthusiasts and hobbyists. These small stations are the ones bringing new music, and old favorites to you every day. Music you can't hear on corporate-owned terrestrial stations."

The CRB announced its decision late Friday, ensuring that it would receive little attention from major media.

But it didn't escape the notice of blogs and bulletin boards, many of which were fuming over what they saw as the end of their ability to hear new music over the Web. Chris Gerard, who operated the Washington, D.C.-based BlueSpaceRadio.com, announced that he was shutting down his site not long after the decision was made public.

"Due to the dramatically increased costs involved, we will no longer be able to continue with Bluespace Radio," Gerard said. "We've put many hours of time and work, and quite a bit of money, into the music as well as the website, and its sad that it has to come to an end like this. However, it's been an enjoyable experience, we've learned a lot, and have had the chance to interact with some great music fans."

Gerard previously spoke to ConsumerAffairs.Com regarding the efforts of the RIAA to challenge satellite radio stations Sirius and XM Radio over issues such as copying of digital music and copy-protection technology for satellite music players. The two satellite radio companies have announced plans to merge into a single entity, a move the RIAA opposes.

Bill Goldsmith, co-owner and operator of Radio Paradise.com, urged his listeners in blog postings to spread the story and get attention from media outlets.

"Crippling an exciting, groundbreaking industry like Internet radio is certainly not in the best interests of the public, nor that of musical artists, and not even -- if history is any judge -- of the music industry itself," Goldsmith said in a posting on www.saveourinternetradio.com.

Simply to break even, many of the larger Internet radio stations would have to incorporate advertising much more heavily into their formats -- the very thing that has caused traditional-radio listeners to flee in droves. Writing for Advertising Age, marketing consultant Al Ries lamented the commercial-filled state of broadcast radio, calling it "radiADo."

"For every ad that radio stations used to run, it now seems like they run two. Radio, in my opinion, has become Radiado, an extra "ad" inserted at every possible point in the programming," Ries said. "Radio is a powerful medium with great selectivity at relatively low costs, but Radiado threatens the very existence of the medium. Too much is too much."

And yet, thanks to decisions like those made by the Copyright Review Board, radio crammed with advertising may be all that listeners have to look forward to.
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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 01:30 PM
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Here's a little more light on their dirty little secret.

QUOTE
RIAA Pushes Through Internet Radio Royalty Rates Designed To Kill Webcasts
from the broadcasters-must-be-a-special-boys-club dept

It's been quite some time since we last heard about arguments between internet webcasters and SoundExchange (a group spun off from the RIAA to handle royalty collection). Back in the summer of 2003, there was even a lawsuit over the royalties being set, that were pretty clearly designed to put smaller, independent webcasters out of business. From the RIAA's point of view, this is perfectly typical. They still view the world (especially the internet) as a broadcast medium. Therefore, they want at small number of "professional" content producers who create the content for everyone else. Then they can just sign a few ridiculously large licenses with those large players, and "the people" get to consume it. It's a fundamental misunderstanding of the internet as a communications medium -- a medium where people express themselves back and forth to each other, rather than a place we go sit back and "consume." While the fight had gotten quiet lately, the good old RIAA was hard at work making sure that things were happening in the background. A bunch of folks submitted stories this weekend noting that late Friday (making it less likely to make the news), the Copyright Royalty Board announced that it was adopting the royalty rates SoundExchange put forth, and making them effective retroactively to the beginning of 2006 -- meaning that many small independent webcasters are now facing a tremendous royalty bill they're unlikely to be able to afford (thanks to everyone who sent this in).

That last link goes through the impact of all of this on various players -- and it's not pretty. The new rates pretty much decimate a large portion of the industry. And, it's only going to get worse, as the royalty rates increase at incredible rates ("2007's rate is a 37.5% increase over 2006; 2008 and 2009's annual increases are about 28% per year; and 2010 adds another 5.5% increase.") Of course, this is utterly backwards and damaging to the industry itself. A webcaster (especially the smaller, independent ones) is a great means of promotion for artists. It tends to attract more loyal and well-targeted audiences, who are more likely to want to later go out and buy a CD, a t-shirt or attend a concert. It lets the industry better promote material from a wider range of artists. However, in the industry's desperate need to charge for every single use, they're effectively killing off yet another wonderful promotional vehicle. The industry continues to think that it needs to do this because it wants to own all distribution and promotional avenues in order to be able to continue to take its large cut. However, that's no reason for the Copyright Royalty Board to put in place these artificial barriers that only serve to protect the recording industry's outdated understanding of its own business model.


Original Article

Here is a direct link to the Radio And Internet Newsletter (RAIN) that explains more of the insidious subtlety of what is happening.
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Lady of the Loch 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the article Steven.
I also signed the petition#1 today and noticed that since I signed it this morning, ( and just made my fiance sign it) there are almost 3,000 more signartures!
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katcynth 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 03:22 PM
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This blows. This is where I find out about artists I would have never known exsisted! The artists should be complaining too, the ones who will make the money are the already big names... You aren't going to hear Ceann or Clann au Drumma anywhere on the corporate stations I would have never heard of them unless I would have somehow stumbled onto to them... Celticradio.net saves me from having to look for artists I love... What a shame...Flat out greed going on here... I am going to snail-mail my representative... since the loser doesn't have an email...


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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (sisterknight @ 07-Mar-2007, 06:18 AM)
god forbid it goes through, but can higlander radio come to canada?or scotland?or ireland?or germany?...i mean CR also has international listeners as well....so your gouvernment is cutting off it's nose to spite it's collective face. it's too bad that all those petitions can't be signed by all listeners
sorry, it's just frustrating not really being able to get involved.. sad.gif

They've been working on this for awhile . . .

QUOTE
SoundExchange« has been working with overseas performance rights organizations (PROs) like PPL (U.K.), SENA (Netherlands) and Somexfon (Mexico) to facilitate the distribution of royalties owed to U.S. artists from performances in these respective countries. By completing the Artist Designation and Authorization, in addition to the other required forms, you'll ensure the receipt of all royalties due you from U.S. and non-U.S. performances.


SoundExchange Website

This is from the SoundExchange, these are the collectors of the fees, which is an arm of RIAA.
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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 04:29 PM
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Here's another bit of news directly related to the issue at hand. Headlined' "RIAA Opposes Fair Use" bill.

QUOTE
Grant Gross, IDG News Service
Wed Feb 28, 3:00 PM ET

A new bill in the U.S. Congress aimed at protecting the fair use rights for consumers of copyright material would "legalize hacking," the Recording Industry Association of America said.

The Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship (FAIR USE) Act, introduced Tuesday by U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher (news, bio, voting record), a Virginia Democrat, and John Doolittle (news, bio, voting record), a California Republican, would allow customers to circumvent digital copy restrictions in six limited areas when copyright owners' business models are not threatened, Boucher said in a press release. So-called fair use doctrine allows customers of copyright works to make limited numbers of copies, particularly for reviews, news reporting, teaching and research.

The bill would allow exemptions to the anticircumvention restrictions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed by Congress in 1998. The bill is revamped from similar bills introduced in the last two sessions of Congress, Boucher said.

"The fair use doctrine is threatened today as never before," Boucher said in a statement. "Historically, the nation's copyright laws have reflected a carefully calibrated balanced between the rights of copyright owners and the rights of the users of copyrighted material. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act dramatically tilted the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public's right to fair use."

But the RIAA said the bill would effectively repeal the DMCA. The bill would "allow electronics companies to induce others to break the law for their own profit," it said in a statement. Advances such digital music sales, online games, on-demand movies and e-books can be traced to DMCA protects, the RIAA said.

"The difference between hacking done for non-infringing purposes and hacking done to steal is impossible to determine and enforce," the RIAA said in its statement.

The Boucher bill would limit the availability of statutory damages against individuals and firms who may be found to have engaged in contributory infringement, inducement of infringement, or other indirect infringement. The bill would allow libraries to circumvent digital locks or secure copies of works that have been damaged, lost or stolen.

The Consumer Electronics Association applauded the bill, saying it would give protections to consumers, educators and libraries. Without fair use protections, consumers couldn't use devices such as VCRs and digital TV recorders, the trade group said.
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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 04:43 PM
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Sorry to be posting in such a fashion, but I think it is important. Here is a little more about the bill. It was just introduced Feb 27, 2007 and has to go through committe berfore it gets voted on. In committee, the current bill can change. Even when it gets to the floor, it can be changed again before it is voted on.

QUOTE
DATE: February 27, 2007 
                 
Reps. Boucher and Doolittle Introduce the FAIR USE Act of 2007

Legislation Would Protect the Fair Use Rights of Digital Media Consumers

U.S. Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA), today introduced the Freedom And Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007 (FAIR USE Act) to protect the fair use rights of users of copyrighted material and thereby enable consumers of digital media to use it in ways that enhance their personal convenience. The legislation contains several improvements to the Digital Media Consumer's Rights Act, similar legislation which the lawmakers introduced in the 108th and 109th Congresses.  Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is an original cosponsor of the legislation.

Because the fair use rights of consumers of digital media are severely threatened today, Boucher and Doolittle propose amending a 1998 law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was enacted at the behest of motion picture studios, the recording industry, and book publishers.


Rep. Boucher's website.

QUOTE
Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)

HR 1201 IH

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1201

To amend title 17, United States Code, to promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 27, 2007

Mr. BOUCHER (for himself, Mr. DOOLITTLE, and Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 06:19 PM
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Wow, what a day! First, I would like to thank StevenPD for being a wealth of knowledge in posting all of this excellent material. Thank you Steven!!

Second, I am happy to report that the "listener wave" is starting to build and it appears it is having an effect. You are all directly responsible, along with other listeners at sites like Celtic Radio, for raising this issue in the press and in congress. Please read today's issue of RAIN (Radio and Internet Newsletter).

http://www.kurthanson.com/archive/news/030...x.shtml#C_story

"Mainstream press outlets have begun to latch onto the severity and importance of the CRB ruling, providing robust coverage of the ruling's mandates and how the decision stands to silence the majority of the Webcasting community."

Today there was a congressional subcommittee hearing on Telecommunications and the Internet - the topic was "Digital Future of the United States: The Future of Radio." I am trying to get a link to the text of the meeting, but here are some of the players that are in our camp:

The Digital Media Association (DiMA), a trade organization for major online audio and video content providers like AOL, Apple, Live365, RealNetworks, Microsoft, and Pandora.

Moving Highlander Radio to a different country may not solve this problem as those countries have made "pacts" with the RIAA to prevent just a thing.

Unless Congress does something to change this ruling, then we will need to shutdown our operation. Watch developements with Live365 as we are tied to their network.


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MDF3530 
  Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 06:24 PM
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I contacted Senators Durbin and Obama and my congressman.


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Senara 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 07:01 PM
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Hey guys...wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten ya. Good thing I checked in when I did. I'll be drafting a very carefully worded letter to Congressman Sensenbrenner, and Senators Kohl and Feingold this weekend. Don't have much time this week to sit down and do it but should have a moment to think on Saturday.

Have been telling my friends about the low-down sneaky trick and they're looking into it as well.

"They can take our lives but they can't take our FREEDOM" (lol.gif they should have known better to mess with the listening habits of the irish and scotch!)


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stevenpd 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 07:07 PM
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Here is the contact form for the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. these are the folks that are having hearings on the issue. There was one today. I couldn't find any info onthe next one.
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Senara 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 07:07 PM
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oh shoot I just had an idea...

why don't we pick a date like say next friday Mar. 16th and a time like say 1pm and have everyone call their respective representatives to wish them a Happy St. Patrick's Day and then also mention that we wish to oppose the new royalty proposals.

What ya think? It could be something just here for CR or maybe spread the word? You think they'd hear us if we flooded the phone lines in Washington?
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Senara @ 07-Mar-2007, 07:07 PM)
why don't we pick a date like say next friday Mar. 16th and a time like say 1pm and have everyone call their respective representatives to wish them a Happy St. Patrick's Day and then also mention that we wish to oppose the new royalty proposals.

This is a great idea. Maybe we will have a theme to go along with St. Patrick's Day........

We will be contacting all musicians before this date and also all members.
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 07-Mar-2007, 09:25 PM
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After reading all of the information that Steven posted I found myself at a new website called:

Broadcast Log Blog

Its published by Davis, Wright, Tremaine - which appears to be an Internet Radio Friendly Law Firm.

After reading their most recent post, I am encouraged that in the event that small webcasters are shutdown in the U.S. - we could resurrect Highlander Radio.

Broadcast Log Blog

Any comments or help with this matter would be greatly appreciated - especially from those legal minds out there!
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