March 5, 2007
Radio Paradise is begging for help. No, this is not the usual "please make donations so we can continue to be free" kind of request that RP and other listener-supported radio stations make This time it's "please stop the US Copyright Office from killing us."
For quite a while, digital (Web) radio has had to pay significantly higher performance royalty rates than analog broadcast services. In effect, analog radio gets for free what Web radio pays through the nose to stream. That has hampered the growth of the industry and stifled any number of free, independent and likely new creative Web radio initiatives. But it gets worse.
On March 1 of this year, the Board issued new rates and decided to base those rates on a "per play" computation scheme championed by (wait for it...) the RIAA. The computation itself is based off an assumption of mass audience and significant commercial revenue. If you're a big Clearchannel station the assumptions behind this new fee schedule make total sense.
However, if you're small/independent/not-for-profit or otherwise outside the big media mainstream, well, you're screwed. RAIN (Radio And Internet Newsletter) has a concise breakdown of the fee schedule, and agrees with RP's claim that the schedule amounts to over 100% of station revenues in a typical situation.
What can we do? I'm honestly not sure. I know that ratepayers affected by the Copyright Board's decision have a time period to appeal. RP asked for people to blog about it, digg it, make the public aware, and so I'm doing that. I don't see any obvious mechanism under which the Copyright Office is collecting citizen comments - perhaps a message from Congress is required?
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations
March 1, 2007
Once upon a time college campuses were plagued by a particularly nasty wave of attacks and harrassment aimed at women. As a result, physical self-defense classes for women sprung up on many American campuses. Women were taught a lot of self-awareness, some martial arts, and in general became less victims and more participants in their own security.
I was reminded of this by an announcement by the newer more efficient Cartel jihad that they have plans to sue more college students in the next three months than they have in the preceding three years. It seems like the appropriate response to this kind of mass assault is a series of legal self-defense seminars for students.
According to the AP wire story (here on SiliconValley.com) the RIAA have sent surrender terms... err, early settlement offers to hundreds of college students. Just as the new efficient machine is attempting to enlist ISPs as part of its enforcement arm, this part of the effort attempts to dragoon university officials who are supposed to do the Cartel's dirty work and associate IP addresses with students in order to expedite the process of squeezing them for cash.
Because, you know, suing customers has been such an effective strategy against music-sharing so far.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Abuse