back to article Who'll win the webcasting war?

On March 20, 2007, The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), a three judge panel appointed by the Librarian of Congress whose mission it is to determine rates and terms for copyright statutory licenses, shocked the webcasting community by announcing dramatically higher rates for use of recorded music by large commercial and small …


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  1. Morely Dotes

    Let's demand the planet Jupiter, too!

    The only possible method to prevent streamripping is to stop broadcasting.

    Which is probably what Sound Exchange really wants.

  2. Webster Phreaky

    Just shut down Webcast Product Whores like Leo Laporte

    Guys like Laporte and many others that make big profits for endorsing brands like Apple, Dell, hardware, software and services (without any disclosure that they're PAID OFF by those brands), are turning Webcasting into nothing more than slick INFOMERCIALS. It has corrupted the original intention of webcasting (podcasting) as a media for the little guy in a sea of commercial TV, Radio and Cable broadcasting.

    If a Webcast technology war succeeds in killing webcasting by these greedy whores, go for it. It's better that there is no media, than a corrupted one.

  3. James

    When the smoke clears ...

    If this goes all the way, we might be in an interesting situation, at least in America, where this is an issue ... you offshore pirates can continue going about your business ..

    1) The Internet broadcasters will be reduced to royalty-free or public domain music (certain classical music releases come to mind) and independent musicians hawking their own wares. "Commercial" webcasting, i.e. meatspace radio replacements, will be knocked off.

    2) As a result, traditional radio broadcasters will regain nearly the position the held pre-webcasting, and advertising revenues will soar as iPods and iPhones and Zunes add radio reception capability. Maybe the Walkman will make a brief comeback ... oh wait ... that's the iPod with radio support ...

    3) Of course, the US Government will mandate that all radio broadcasts be digital-only (no more rabbit ears) by 2012, as they are doing with television broadcasts, at which time the radio stations will fall into the webcasting category, forcing them to pony up the fees associated with the current legislation, and driving them into bankruptcy.

    4) Finally, commercial music artists will revolt against the pricing scheme and beg the US Government to cancel the program, at which point the artists will once again have a broadcast medium to promote their physical recordings and touring schedules ... just like traditional radio has done for decades.

    At this point, commercial webcasting will re-emerge, and the artists will start complaining about "lost royalties", all over again.

    The moral of the story: Radio and webcasting are PROMOTIONAL VEHICLES, not end-point sales items and should be treated as such. Killing the goose won't make the golden eggs she used to lay any more numerous.

  4. mike

    you what

    James said "you offshore pirates can continue going about your business ". Not everyone lives in the USA just because we don't live their does not make us pirates. Though having said that I started in broadcasting many years ago. On a ship. So I guess it does. Strange to think now that the station that defied the British government is still on air the government that tried to stop it has long gone. think about it.

    You don't seriously think this is about artists do you it is to stop Internet radio particularly the smaller stations. How can it be about artists when the major labels tie the artists down in contracts so they keep the copyright money that the artist should rightly receive. Where I do agree with you is that all forms of broadcasting is a promotional vehicle weather that is Radio or Streaming. What also escapes you is that if the RIAA get their way in America then they will start to force the same on the rest of the world.

  5. James Butler

    I what?

    Did I say "pirates"? I meant "vultures". Sorry 'bout that. ;)

    Oop ... I meant "broadcasters" ... sorry, again.

    I've got my band's music up on our website right now, free podcasting. My Dad is a webcaster, doing the same show he has done for over 40 years on traditional radio, "Ella, Frank & Friends" (big band music). His show and the site that broadcasts it (BostonPete) will be shut down should the new tariffs be applied. I'm not a fan of the RIAA, either. They're flogging a dead horse because they're too stupid to grow.

    You're right, of course, to dismiss my sad attempt at humour. It seems like I was too close to reality for the obvious distinctions to have been made.

    The good news is that the Recording Industry Association of America can do little to define laws in other countries.

    Just to clarify: My final paragraph in my previous note was my main point. Record labels that are seeing their profits grow more slowly than they used to (and have no doubt that they still generate profits, just not as much as before) aren't shifting strategies as quickly as they need to in order to adapt to the new world. But it bears repeating that radio airplay has never generated profit for record companies simply because it is a promotional vehicle, and not a performance vehicle. If the companies and artists would chip some of their money and effort into putting on better live shows, touring more frequently, and offering special disc addenda that couldn't be found online (for a time), they would be earning more money and selling more product.

    The simple fact is that record companies have been pushing immature "artists" onto the public for so long that their development stables are empty, leaving them with acts that are only capable of lip synching their way through a "concert" and regurgitating previous hit singles for short-term gain. They need to rekindle their portfolios and develop artists who truly have the goods to be able to sustain the live performance regimen so that they add value to the music instead of relying completely on CD sales by "artists" who can only turn out acceptable product via the use of track-slipping, pitch-shifting studio toys.

    Once the Art is back in their output, people will want to witness the rebirth, providing all sorts of now-forgotten revenue streams, and radio, whether Internet or meatspace based, will once again occupy its proper role.

    Oh, they could also use a good trouncing for expecting profits to rise and rise and rise, and regain their footing with a REASONABLE profit margin. Same goes for those who invest in them. Unrealistic expectations should not a lawsuit make.

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