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pretentiouswombat 
Posted: 17-Mar-2007, 01:11 PM
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I wrote to Representative John Linder from Georgia and I'm going to email friends and family about this issue.



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Garden Fairy 
  Posted: 17-Mar-2007, 02:33 PM
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I sent an email to the Pennsylvania Congressmen. I hope they hear our voice through all the other hot topics on the Hill that catch the TV news.

Has anyone contacted (emailed) any of the network or cable news channels about this?
I'll bet Keith Olbermann would have a field day with this issue. Maybe the RIAA could become one of the "Worst Person of the Day", they sure deserve it.

Happy St Patrick's Day,

Garden Fairy
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 17-Mar-2007, 03:57 PM
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Drip... Drip... Dripped yesterday. and then turned around and left my first message on the call in line about it.


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rhatcher1313 
  Posted: 17-Mar-2007, 06:23 PM
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Happy St. Patrick's Day !
I have also had letters forwarded by my congressman, Virgil H. Goode Jr., who also shares the same concerns about the CRB's decision, to the interim chief of CRB. Here is his address,
Mr. Bruce G. Forrest, Interim Chief
Copyright Royalty Board
Library of Congress
PO Box 70977
Washington, DC 20024-0977
So, dear members, please also mail a letter of concern to this gentleman also. I have become quite a political-activist this March. I cannot count how many letters, calls, spamming All my friends, contacts, etc., this month. I'm sure that all members have been doing the same! Keep up the good fight! Also, please, let Macfive know how much you appreciate this wonderful site & station! Also, yesterday, have been "flooding" the switch-boards in DC. Gonna have a large phone bill, this month. It will be worth every bit spent, when we win this battle! Thanks again!
Slainte,
rhatcher1313
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parkers1 

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  Posted: 19-Mar-2007, 10:50 PM
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Aye - What Next, this is getting the support it should, from all us that listen but I think there also needs to be air time spent on this issue!!!!!!!!


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haynes9 
Posted: 20-Mar-2007, 10:29 AM
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Saw this article on The Drudge Report. Seems like the word is getting out.

Broadcasters Challenge Streaming Rules
Monday March 19, 7:12 pm ET
By Seth Sutel, AP Business Writer
Radio Stations and Online Broadcasters Challenge Copyright Ruling on Internet Royalties


NEW YORK (AP) -- A wide array of broadcasters and online companies on Monday challenged a ruling from a panel of copyright judges that they say could cripple the emerging business of offering music broadcasts over the Internet.

Clear Channel Communications Inc., National Public Radio, and groups representing both large and small companies providing music broadcasts online were among those asking the Copyright Royalty Board to reconsider key parts of its March 2 ruling.

That ruling, the challenging parties say, would greatly increase the amount of royalties that online music broadcasters would have to pay to record labels and performers as well as put unreasonable demands on them to track how many songs were listened to by exactly how many individuals online.

The royalties in question only apply to digital transmissions of music, such as through Web sites, and are paid to the performers of songs and record labels. Webcasters also pay additional royalties to the composers and publishers of music, similar to those also paid by over-the-air broadcasters.

Digital performance rights were originally granted to record companies in 1995, in part with the intention of protecting them against the possibility that digital transmissions could erode the sales of CDs.

Under a previous arrangement, which expired at the end of 2005, broadcasters and online companies such as Yahoo Inc. and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL unit could pay royalties based on estimates of how many songs were played over a given period of time, or a "tuning hour," as opposed to counting every single song.

Jonathan Potter, the executive director of the Digital Media Association, which represents major online companies affected by the decision, asked that the judges specifically allow a per-tuning-hour approximation measure for paying the royalties.

Potter also asked the judges to clarify a $500 annual fee per broadcasting channel, saying that with some online companies offering many thousands of listening options, counting each one as a separate channel could lead to huge fees for online broadcasters.

NPR argued in its filing Monday that the new rules would have "crippling effects" on public radio's ability to meet its mandate of serving the public interest, and it also objected to the $500 per-channel minimum fee.

A group of commercial broadcasters including San Antonio, Texas-based Clear Channel, the largest radio company in the country, also asked for a reconsideration of key parts of the ruling, saying that the methods used to calculate the fees were faulty.

The motions filed Monday covered relatively technical aspects of the ruling and mark the first of what is likely to be other legal challenges to the decision.

NPR said in its filing that it also intended, in due course, to appeal the overall decision by the copyright judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

A previous agreement covering small commercial webcasters, which also expired at the end of 2005, allowed those companies to pay a flat rate of 12 percent of annual revenues in lieu of calculating the total number of listener-hours as larger broadcasters and Web companies were required to.

The ruling makes no such provision, something that those companies are asking the judges to reconsider.

SoundExchange, an entity that collects royalties from digital music broadcasters and distributes them to rights holders, has said the ruling was fair and that the rapid growth in advertising revenues from online music broadcasting would more than allow webcasters to cover the new fees.

SoundExchange pointed to research finding that those ad revenues grew from $50 million in 2003 to $500 million last year.




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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 22-Mar-2007, 04:39 PM
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Bit of sad news. This was posted over at Atthefaire.com but its probably on Renradio's main site. Sad to see it go. Ren radio was were i first heard of this station. Keep on driping people. The water pressure might force the cork out so the waters can flow free again.

Renradio has been broadcasting since 1999. I've fought and worked hard to keep it on the net and free. I have made many compromises as big business has tried to push the small web casters out of business and control what you listen to just like terrestrial radio and satellite radio. I never wanted to compete with them I just wanted to listen to the music I like and share it with the few others that like it too. Over the years Renradio went from something I set up to play with and listen to at work to peak at 3 stream station with over a thousand listeners. I was voted as one of the best Celtic and Folk station on Yahoo. I don't play Pop music or anything mainstream but the RIAA and big record labels still wanted (more) money. I joined Live365 the 1st time the RIAA raised the rates so I could keep playing even though I had to let them insert commercials and take a vow of poverty and not make any money off the station. Not that I ever intended to. It was a hobby, it was for fun.

I made so many new friends, met so many new artist. I gained a bit of notoriety and fame within our community as "Rengeek the owner of Renradio". It got me free beers and plenty of thanks and compliments. And to my amazement people donated money and their talents to keep this thing going. Truthfully this is what has kept me going when my life took a turn for the worse. I don't want it to go away.

But the apathy and willingness for this country, and it's government, to let big business do what they want no matter who's freedom it steps on or what they take in the name of money leaves me with little choice. I can not justify the hundreds of dollars they will demand or the hundreds of dollars they want retroactively to continue this station. I frankly don't have the money or the energy to continue to fight alone. I'm tired, so very tired of the fight.

We all like a story such as David and Goliath, but in the end we all know it is just a fable.

From Rain:

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has announced its decision on Internet radio royalty rates, rejecting all of the arguments made by Webcasters and instead adopting the "per play" rate proposal put forth by SoundExchange(a digital music fee collection body created by the RIAA).

RAIN has learned the rates that the Board has decided on, effective retroactively through the beginning of 2006. They are as follows:

2006 $.0008 per performance
2007 $.0011 per performance
2008 $.0014 per performance
2009 $.0018 per performance
2010 $.0019 per performance

A "performance" is defined as the streaming of one song to one listener; thus a station that has an average audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 "performances" for each song it plays.

The minimum fee is $500 per channel per year. There is no clear definition of what a 'channel' is for services that make up individualized playlists for listeners.

For noncommercial webcasters, the fee will be $500 per channel, for up to 159,140 ATH (aggregate tuning hours) per month. They would pay the commercial rate for all transmissions above that number.

Participants are granted a 15 day period wherein they have the opportunity to ask the CRB for a re-hearing.

Within 60 days of the final determination, the decision is supposed to be published in the Federal Register, along with any technical corrections that the Board may wish to make.

Within 30 days of publication in the Federal Register, it can be appealed (but only by the participants) to the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.

Rengeek Dee of Jay at Renradio.com


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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 22-Mar-2007, 05:13 PM
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And now for some goodnews!! I surfed over to Renradio to see if there were any new developments. Good news. NPR has joined into the fight!
I felt the article a bit long to post but here is the link for it
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070...-increases.html

drip, drip, splash
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 22-Mar-2007, 09:24 PM
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Aw, damn. I listened to Renradio for a long time, even after I started coming here regularly. I hate to see them go.


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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 22-Mar-2007, 10:53 PM
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Both of my previous posts were from renradios website so there may be hope yet!!
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stevenpd 
Posted: 22-Mar-2007, 11:26 PM
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Don't give up! Keep dripping! The drips are starting to become streams.

QUOTE
"CRB agrees to hear arguments from groups seeking rehearing"

BY DANIEL MCSWAIN

The Copyright Royalty Board announced late yesterday (March 20,2007) it is considering "Motions for Rehearing" filed by various parties affected by the Board's recent webcast royalty determination.

Previously, both Radio & Records and CNet News had mistakenly reported that a rehearing had been granted by the CRB in the royalty rate case. While it is promising that the Board is agreeing to hear motions, no rehearing has been granted at this time.

Many advocates of Internet radio see the decision to hear motions as a "first step" toward the resolution of problematic issues surrounding the royalty rate decision.

In a brief issued yesterday afternoon [.pdf], Chief Copyright Royalty Judge James Scott Sledge wrote that crbthe Board "desires to hear the positions of each party on each of the issues raised in these motions." The brief also notes that the responses to the motion must be filed by April 2nd.

Since the CRB's March 2nd announcement of the proposed royalty rates there has been a swift and massively negative response to the decision stson behalf of journalists, advocates, webcasters and listeners alike.

Over the past number of days, tens of thousands of fans have poured into petition signing sites like SaveTheStreams.org and SaveOurInternetRadio.com, while press outlets from the Wall Street Journal to Salon.com have been quick to give the issue a continuing spotlight.


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parkers1 

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  Posted: 24-Mar-2007, 05:06 PM
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My part of Texas has been contacted about this issue, below is a response I got back that I thought I should share.
Dear Mr. Parker:

Thank you for contacting me about the important issue of music performance rights. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.

As you are aware, rapid advances in communications technology have led to the development of digital television and radio, as well as subscription satellite television and radio services. These new capabilities expand the range of choices available to consumers; subscription satellite radio is one of the most successful examples of quickly advancing technology. I welcome such consumer-driven innovation and enjoy a personal satellite radio subscription.

As expected, technological innovation also brings with it the threat of copyright infringement. While recent technology advances represent important achievements, we must, on principle, protect the intellectual property rights of those responsible for such innovation. You may be certain that I will continue working with my Senate colleagues to strike a balance between copyright protection and technological advance and that I will keep your concerns in mind should the Senate consider relevant legislation during the 110th Congress.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 24-Mar-2007, 10:43 PM
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...the problem being, copyright infringement isn't the issue here. ::sigh::
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stevenpd 
Posted: 04-Apr-2007, 02:02 PM
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Keep dripping! Now their own industry expert can not say the rate hike is fair.

QUOTE
Chicago Sun-Times

Web radio gets the squeeze

New online station fees threaten to dam the streams

April 1, 2007
BY JIM DeROGATIS Pop Music Critic

As relentless, multi-faceted and scare-mongering as the War on Terror, the music industry's War on Technology rages on, and the latest battlefield is Internet radio.
In recent years, the proliferation of broadband Internet connections allowing for real-time streaming audio has prompted an explosion of online radio stations augmenting what the industry calls "terrestrial radio" -- that is, the old-fashioned AM/FM airwaves. In many cases, Internet radio stations simply duplicate their bigger corporate-radio parents: In Chicago, you can listen to B96 on your car stereo at 96.3-FM, or you can stream it anywhere you can hook up your computer at B96.com. Either way, you get the same CBS/Infinity Broadcasting mix of dance-pop, hip-hop, DJ chatter and advertising.

In other cases, online radio stations provide content that is thoroughly unique: There are stations devoted entirely to Czech polka music, for example, or classical pieces played on oboe. Among the many Internet-only radio stations based in Chicago, BassDrive.com specializes in one very specific underground dance genre, describing itself as "a 24/7 drum-and-bass radio station," while DJ Lloyd Dev's station under the 365.com Internet radio umbrella is devoted entirely to house music, with "mixes from Frankie Knuckles, Lil Louis, Gene Hunt, Steve Silk Hurley and others."

These small online stations would seem to have little in common with the bigger players, which also include names such as Yahoo, AOL and RealNetworks. But a recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board, the three-member panel that regulates Internet radio royalties under the aegis of the Library of Congress, substantially increases the amount Webcasters must pay to play music, and many say it will dramatically curtail the number Internet radio stations that can afford to continue broadcasting.

Here's how royalties work for conventional radio: When a station plays a song, a royalty is collected by one of the three big rights organizations -- ASCAP, BMI or SESAC -- which eventually pays the songwriter and the music publisher. The actual performer isn't paid, only the songwriter is: Bob Dylan is paid whenever an AM or FM station airs the Jimi Hendrix recording of "All Along the Watchtower," but the Hendrix estate is not. Seventy-five other countries pay the performer as well as the songwriter, but the United States doesn't, and terrestrial radio stations have long lobbied to maintain this exemption by insisting the performer benefits from exposure and album sales.

When royalties for Internet radio were first set in 1995, that argument wasn't taken into account. The system required online broadcasters to pay the traditional songwriter and publisher royalty to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, in addition to a digital performance royalty split between the performers and the owners of the recording (usually the record label), with fees collected by an organization called SoundExchange.

Until the end of 2005, when the first agreement lapsed, online broadcasters could pay SoundExchange based on either the number of songs they played or the number of hours listeners tuned in, with smaller broadcasters having the option of paying 12 percent of their total revenue -- which could be very little, if the broadcasts were free of advertising.

"Congress apparently made a determination for an interim specified period of time to assist a nascent industry, and that period of time has passed," Chief Copyright Royalty Judge James S. Sledge has said.

Under the new ruling, Sledge and his fellow judges will require Webcasters to pay every time a listener hears a song, at a rate that starts at .08 cent per tune (stretching back retroactively to the start of 2006) and rises to .19 cent in 2010. On top of that, Webcasters have to pay a $500 minimum for every Web channel they operate. (A home broadcaster probably has just one, but companies such as RealNetworks and Pandora have hundreds.)

The effect is a harsh penalizing of Internet radio. By way of comparison, the online news site BetaNews.com noted that on a per-listener scale, broadcast radio stations paid an average of about $1.56 in royalties per listener during 2006. Internet radio sites will be paying $8.91 per listener retroactive to the start of 2006, and that figure will increase to $15.59 per listener by 2008. Webcasters were quick to object to the inequity.

"We would have to provide less choice and less diverse programming," Robert Kimball, senior vice president for business and legal affairs at RealNetworks, told the New York Times. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, KCRW-FM general manager Ruth Seymour called the ruling "draconian," adding that her station would already owe more than $350,000 and will be faced with curtailing its popular Webcasts if it is forced to pay. The opposition is making for strange bedfellows: Among the organizations appealing the ruling are the commercial radio megalith Clear Channel Communications and non-commercial National Public Radio, which also announced it would turn to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The fundamental problem seems to be that, as with file-sharing, the old-school music industry doesn't understand the new medium -- at one point in the proceedings, one of the members of the Copyright Royalty Board asked if the term "albums" could refer to CDs as well as vinyl records, according to the transcripts -- and as a result, Webcasting is viewed as a threat rather than a potential asset. If a listener hears a song on Internet radio and likes it, isn't he or she just as likely to buy it as they'd be if they heard it on terrestrial radio?

"I don't know whether Webcasters are replacing sales or enhancing sales," Bruce Iglauer, founder of Chicago's independent blues label Alligator Records, told me last Monday. "Do I think Webcasting sells CDs? I don't know if anything sells CDs now. A lot of articles are saying that CDs are dead, and they're never going to sell again."

Iglauer was one of several music industry experts who testified before the Copyright Royalty Board in favor of the new, higher digital royalty rates -- though he admits he isn't sure whether these are fair or not. "I don't know if we're overcharging digital broadcasters. The last time the rates were set [in 1995], everybody doing Webcasting said, 'This is going to sink us.' Nobody sank; they all continued. Now they're saying, 'This is going to sink us.' Do I think some Webcasters will become discouraged? Yes, it's probable some will."

Although Nielsen SoundScan and other monitors show online sales increasingly dramatically in the last few years, Iglauer says that for Alligator, sales of music via downloads haven't been enough to offset the decrease in sales of CDs.

"Absolutely we're seeing an increase in digital sales -- they went up about 40 percent last year -- but at the rate they're presently going, it will take us 10 years to get back to where we were in 1999. Both financially and in terms of personnel, our company is two-thirds the size it was in 1999."

But is this the fault of new technology, or is it just one of the inevitable twists and turns in the ever-volatile music industry? And if it's the latter, should Webcasters be the ones who are paying?

"What I testified about was the economics of the independent record business, not what would be a fair rate for Webcasters," Iglauer says. "If you ask me what a fair rate would be, I have to say that I don't know."

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hellknight 
Posted: 05-Apr-2007, 05:49 AM
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A question - most, if not all, of those polls, contact options, etc, are US citizen only. Is there anything people like me, who are not from the US, can do in this matter?
I'd hate to see Highlander Radio, and it's colleagues be destroyed by those greedy (insert list of swearwords here) at the RIAA.

Regards,
Hellknight


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