Sunday, August 17, 2008

Radio: Safety Net Radio

Two things I hate to see wasted. Time and money.
That brings me to Save Net Radio, the Internet radio group trying to keep the RIAA – the influence peddling wing of the four major label groups - at bay from being given a misguided tribute to the labels for the privilege of providing artists airplay.

I call it a tribute – as opposed to a performance tax or royalty payment the RIAA attempts to paint it as.

In my old neighborhood tribute is defined as “an extorted payment, which allows you to do business.”

The RIAA is the acronym of the Record Industry Association of America. It’s a disingenuous name since only one of the four major labels is American-owned and operated.

The RIAA claims the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) gives them the right to go after streaming audio for royalty payments.

It’s based on the false assumption that all digital recordings are a perfect duplication of the master copy. Since streaming audio is digitally delivered – the RIAA wants streaming audio broadcasters to pay its collection agency, SoundExchange, for airplay.
The reality is that most digitally delivered music and spoken word on the Internet is highly compressed audio. A perfect duplication it is not.

The real money comes in with the ephemeral recording. This is where songs are buffered to your computer before being played. Unbelievable as it may seem, the Copyright Royalty Board rates included a second fee that’s charged, because it considers this buffering as making an additional copy of the song before playing it.

From my vantage point, Save Net Radio can’t buy a clue on how to deal with SoundExchange’s hardball demands.

I’m not even sure what they’re trying to achieve other than to wallow in their own plight and feel self pity.

They are incapable of attacking a problem. Whenever a real, substantial idea or a battle plan is presented, it’s met with lethargic reasons on why it’s impracticable from other members of the group.

Save Net Radio wants to play nice to the record company goon squadron. They can’t come to grips with the fact that this group will take pleasure in cutting out your heart and feeding it to you.

The RIAA considers fairness an antiquated notion at best and corrosive naiveté at worst.

Their recent effort to legitimize their existence by pretending to be a friend to the artist on their labels is nothing more than a smokescreen for their true identity.

And in this corner is Save Net Radio, which presumed that a slogan and safe-as-milk protest would fix all of Internet radio’s woes.

Remember when they did their “Day of Silence” on June 26, 2007. This was the day when all Internet radio stations would go dark for twenty-four hours to protest the RIAA’s strong arming.

What was learned? What was accomplished?
Absolutely nothing.
In fact, with the exception of generating some ho-hum publicity, the “Day of Silence” was a bust. The majority of terrestrial stations did not participate - nor did the major streaming audio stations like AOL’s and's.

One Internet radio portal, Radio Row, saw an increase of 33 percent of visitors that day. Streaming audio listeners had no problem finding other stations to listen to that day. It was no “day of silence” to them.

Stop and think about the pure brilliance of their remonstration. They tried to get their message across by going silent.

Name me one home run Save Net Radio has hit. OK, how about a single?

Just so you know, whether the end result is win, lose or draw, there’s always someone cashing checks along the way.

Save Net Radio’s Chair is Jon Potter, an attorney from Washington, DC. He’s racking up some nice billable hours.
Interactive Week magazine called him one of the “25 unsung heroes of the Internet” and The Legal Times’ Tech Counsel magazine named him one of Washington’s “top technology lobbyists.”

What’s Potter’s tactic for Save Net Radio?

Try not to upset anyone.

Another payment goes to whateverPR firms promoted, among other things, the long-forgotten “Day of Silence?” Qorvis Communications LLC is one of the PR groups they’ve used but it’s uncertain if they handled the “Day of Silence” hype.

This lackadaisical attitude from Save Net Radio comes at a time when automobile routers and other portable Wi-Fi options become more accessible and affordable, which will allow in-car listening to streaming audio, and bring Internet radio to the masses and present real competition for Sirius-XM.

Here’s what I don’t get. What’s stopping the labels from doing their own Internet radio stations? Think of the branding. All Sony all the time, We’re all Warner Brothers, Universally yours, and My EMI.
They could hire top-name air talent, do massive giveaways, and have total control over what is seen and heard on their sites. And, it’s all barely legal.
The labels could buy full page ads in Rolling Stone and People and Googlize themselves across the web universe promoting their own Internet stations. So why don’t they do it?

Maybe it’s because they know that today’s music fans will see through their hype and malarkey?
The recent Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on “Music and Radio in the 21st Century” proved that no one in Washington politics that counts knows what Save Net Radio is trying to accomplish.

It was as if you put a group of people together, each speaking a different language not understood by any one else in the room. An argument can’t be effective if no one is listening to it.

Unless there’s a major attitudinal change at Save Net Radio, I don't think anything they do will sway this committee. Washington know a sinking ship when they see one – and when you're going down for the third time, even a garbage scow looks like the Queen Mary.

Like most legislation that was waltzed through Congress during the final years of the Bill Clinton on-auto-pilot administration, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is poorly written and easily open for debate.

Let me stop here and remind you that the Washington definition of debate is something that is won by those with the most money and the best lawyers. Justice is often just an illusion. The real world is too gray for justice to play much of a role.

When it was signed into law in 1998, the labels hired lobbyists to work Congress to impose a new standard only with respect to charging Internet radio stations a new sound recording performance royalty system.

In reality, it cripples streaming audio sites by imposing royalties that are cost prohibitive.
Does any of this make sense? The labels claim that allowing airplay of their product on streaming audio will hurt their music sales? Or that webcasters should be charged per listener – meaning that a streaming audio station is penalized for every new listener?
So let me see if I’ve got this straight. What the RIAA is asking for is the reverse of free enterprise?
Chances are Save Net Radio’s not going to be successful in arguing against royalty payments to SoundExchange. Let’s give them that. Then why aren’t royalties based on a percentage of the profits an Internet radio station generates – say six to eight percent. This allows the streaming audio industry to develop, much like the government allowing tax-free Internet commerce. If an Internet station is a love of labor and generates no revenue – they shouldn’t have to pay for play.
And I’ll say it again – airplay sells product.
Of course, streaming audio sites already have an option from SoundExchange to cut their own discounted deals directly with the labels rep’d by the RIAA. It’s called “direct licensing” or to be more exact, dark payola – a system that provides the labels access to what you play for a discount of what you pay. It’s a “pay-for-play” scheme that only major labels and acts can afford. And this dark payola discount is barely a discount at all, relative to the original rate.

A few Internet radio stations already bought into it. That’s like being in your own home as a guest after you’ve sold it. It may look the same but now you’ll have to ask if you want to use the bathroom.

And get this - we are to put our trust in SoundExchange to distribute these “royalty payments” to the labels, which, will distribute and provide a fair share of Internet radio royalty dollars to their artists. I’ll pause for a chuckle.

Copyright owners must allocate one-half of the statutory licensing royalties they receive to recording artists. 45 percent of the royalties are allocated to featured artists, 2 ½ percent of the royalties are distributed to the American Federation of Musicians to session musicians and another 2 ½ percent to non-featured (session) vocalists. Here it is in black and white, page ten.
Oh, almost forgot. SoundExchange takes their “administrative costs” off the top. Among other things, these “administrative costs” include their abundant usage of lobbyists. And their lobbyists are as crazed as NRA’s whenever gun control legislation is introduced in Congress.
If SoundExchange can’t locate an artist within three years, they keep the money. There are roughly 7,555 artists SoundExchange hasn’t been able to track down. They publish an “unpaid artist” list though it makes you wonder if their list is complete.
Another problem with this system is that the majority of streaming audio webcasters are not paying fees and have no say in the matter since they are, for all practical purposes, pirate Internet radio stations. When you remove those stations from the total number of on line stations, you’ve cut the united-voice volume by 75 percent.

If a recording artist wants to challenge the authenticity of the royalty statement provided by the labels – they are, by law, permitted an audit. That’s an upfront cost of $25,000 to $50,000 or even more. For that reason few artists can afford to go that route.

Those that can afford to – like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin - took on their labels and found royalty discrepancies in their books – and sued to get what was owed them. But how about all those rock and rhythm and blues artists in the ‘50s and ‘60s that never received a dime in royalties because their dodgy labels knew they couldn’t afford an audit?

Just this past week the Allman Brothers sued Universal Music for $10 million in arrears of royalty payments for the sale of digital recordings. Five Allman band members are named as plaintiffs, claiming they were gypped on royalties for music recorded going back to 1969.

One of the songs owed royalties on is “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More.” That should be Save Net Radio’s new motto.

And the RIAA should take heed from Jackson Browne: “Nobody owes you nothing.”


vanillacokehead said...

I am so sick of the MAFIAA and their extortion-like tactics and the way they've been using all three branches of government to prop up their obsolete business model. What a bunch of reactionaries!

These bullies need to embrace technology and the Internet - not impede it.

A lot of recording and motion picture industry leaders are so hell-bent and closed-minded that they don't realize they're p*ssing off a lot of constituents who could be their allies. Instead, many of them have chosen to stubbornly take their 20th-century attitudes into the 21st century.

I so wish that folks with the RIAA and MPAA and similar industry groups would try taking a collaborative rather than confrontational attitude with technology.

Anonymous said...

Labels have routinely cheated artists for years and that's fact not heresay. There are hundreds of books, magazine stories, and newspaper articles about how the labels denied royalties to artists especially to R&B performers. I would not trust the RIAA/Sound Exchange to compensate performers.

Anonymous said...

I am from the Boston area. Your suggestion of royalties being charged based on profit is pure genius and makes more sense than the penalizing anti-business demands of the RIAA/SX. The internet provides opportunty for both the professional broadcaster, the amateur. Who knows where our next radio stars may come from. It certainly wont be terrestrial radio. It also provides neighborhoods and small regions to create stations to serve ethnic and informational needs. Boston is a city of diverse neighborhoods that could use internet stations to keep us informed of what is happening in our immediate community. Your suggestion makes sense for all concerned. I plan to write my congressman and direct him to do your blog.

Anonymous said...

I am not a streaming audio programmer although i am a regular listener to various internet radio streams both here and abroad. I was turned on to streaming audio in the late 90s back when broadband was new and you had to be tethered to a computer to listen. I did buy a transmitter so I could listen to streaming stations through other radios in my house and I was turned on to music I really loved and was not hearing on terrestrial radio. It opened my ears to new music, new formats and European and Central/So. American radio that played music that the U.S. had long forgoten and new music that should have been played in the states.

I believe that terrestrial radio which can budget internet fees and satellite radio which will lose audience to internet radio once it is available in automobiles are the two factions that want this fee to put independent stations under.

Save Net Radio is not the organization to save independent streaming audio and I would not be surprised if some of the operators would actually welcome this 'dark payola' since the average person would be unaware of who is controlling the playlist since they do not have to provide such information to their listeners.

Streaming audio listeners should get actively involved with their support. When the consumer complains the industries take note. Boycotting buying music and terrestrial radio though meager would get more attention than a day of silence.

Incidentally Save Net Radio's day of silence got confused with a gay/lesbian campaign of the same name. They should have known this and used another slogan.

Thank you for your insight into streaming audio and the problems it is facing. Fans - get active.

Anonymous said...

I listen to internet radio almost constantly at work and at home. Love everything from the adult rock formats to ambient/trip hop. I find internet radio to be better than satellite, better than conventional radio. I did not renew my XM. Considering that I have been a fan and lsitener of internet radio for years I never heard of Save Net Radio until I read your blog this morning. This group is doing a terrible job at supporting internet radio.

Anonymous said...

Send lawyers, guns and money. Forget the guns. Just the lawyers and money. There is no better way to separate fools from their money than to hire a Washington lawyer who will find ways to drag things on for years. How about asking Mr. high techie lawyer to do some pro bono on this? No? Thought so.

Save Net Radio? Someone should try and save Save Net Radio from the dummies running it now.

Anonymous said...

Gorman, your full of crap. I remember when you had Radio Crow and in interviews you bragged about how clean the sound and perfect the stereo separation was on internet radio when listneing on good equipment and on high speed broadband. Now you say the audio on streaming stations is bad? You cant have it both ways my man. Internet radio should be charged and licensed and should be made to pay like any other radio or TV station. You want a free ride because its a new technology. Its not new anymore. Streaming has been around well over ten years now. You talk through your hat.

Anonymous said...

Terrestrial radio does nt want the competiton any more than satellite and that has something to do with HD radio. Internet radio has the ability once it is portable to be a major competitor to satellite radio and because of its wide variety keep terrestrial from ever developing its folly of follies HD radio.

Anonymous said...

G-Man, knowing you, you are checking out internet radio stations to find some new programmers for your next projects. Some internet radio stations play some great mixes of music unincumbered by record company and corporate control. What passes for alternative, triple A and active rock on terrestrial radio today is a frigging joke. That is why I always liked you and your buzzard guys. You broke the frigging rules and played what you wanted to play which was exactly what your wmms listeners wanted to hear.
Do you think internet radio will ever be profitable enough to become a major player in the music business?

Anonymous said...

The flaw in your thinking is you fail to fully appreciate why the push for royalties is happening. Quite simply, the digital distribution of music has destroyed the old business model. Blown it up. Period.

It's a very simple matter to capture and convert a stream to a digital audio file. For most purposes, that file will satisfy consumers. In the past, bootleggers were an annoyance. Today, they make up the bulk of music consumers, and they're growing in numbers.

By establishing a royalty structure, RIAA is essentially changing the way it views broadcasters (including internet broadcasters.) They're no longer promotions partners, they're effectively being viewed as retail distributors. The people who want to stream and broadcast royalty-free can continue to waste their money in sponsoring protest groups, etc. Smart broadcasters will simply adjust their business model to accommodate RIAA. Oh wait, I said smart broadcasters, didn't I. My bad.

Anonymous said...

I disagree w/the prior anon. That is giving up. The DMCA was signed into law w/out hearings, discussions, meetings on the matter. Part of it is the NAB and RAB's fault for not being more attentive (the Calif. AFTRA agreement was another w/the internet tiein). The other part was that there was no where a fledging internet radio/streaming audio provider could have learned in advance of the DMCA. Did you ever read it? It controls the programming of stations right down to no double-plays of the same artist w/out permission. That is one of the smaller points. The DMCA was signed into law by Clinton who had a cozy relationship w/Hilary Rosen who was then head of the RIAA, a Democrat and a PAC contibutor to Clinton. This is very much like the Telecommunications Bill whose radio revisions were never debated or discussed. The DMCA is unworkable. It stifles growth in new industries and creates cost prohibitive and programming nightmares for on line streamers. Gorman is right about digital delivery on streaming. It is highly compressed and not a perfect copy as the DMCA claims.

Anonymous said...

i think of how the labels treat their consumers and the way radio treats its listeners and its no wonder why many have found alternate means of entertainment. i listen to internet only radio stations not terrestrial radio streams. i will listen to foreign terrestrial stations whose formats seem to play a wider variety than u.s. stations. i download music. some legally, occasionally an illegal just to see if i like the track. at least i have that option. i cannot tell you the last time i was in a record store. another adventure i no longer miss though i do miss the old fashioned neighborhood record store where the staff loved the music as much as you did.

Anonymous said...

I am a recording artist and I support your idea of a percentage of profits as opposed to paying per listener. I want my music to reach as many as possible and I do not want to penalize the provider.

The same rules should apply to terrestrial radio, too. The performance tax proposed is fair given radio's reluctance to support independent music and labels.

Thank you for this blog.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that Save Net Radio especially with their Washingtonian lawyer advising them did not know what they were getting into when they met with Judiciary Committee. What advice is this lawyer provided them with anyway? It appears that the RIAA was prepared and ready and loaded for bear. They had their ducks in a row. Save Net Radio needed a safety net of their own.

Anonymous said...

No one including John Gorman brought up the fact that Save Net Radio represents only the big guys - the for profit multiple station companies like Soma, Accu-Radio and the like. The independent stand alone stations were not represented. Save Net Radio is not set up for them nor the internet radio listener.

Anonymous said...

John, Pandora Radio is threatening to shut down, claiming that they are losing money. It may take that for the RIAA to wake up and understand that AIRPLAY SELLS PRODUCT. What the RIAA wants is CONTROL through dark payola.

I don't think internet radio is a sexy enough issue for the masses to get involved.

What the RIAA DOESN'T REALIZE is that if they snuff out internet radio you will have a large segment learn how to go on LimeWire and other file sharing services to get their music there (some already do). The RIAA will actually contribute to its own pirating!

Your idea of percentage of profits makes the most sense and most people seem to agree.

Anonymous said...

Great blog but what I really want to know is where you got that photo of Bono trying to get away from a drunken Bill Clinton. Your photos and illustrations and off the wall links really make this blog a fun read.

RE: Internet radio. What happens when some high rolling backer asks his local Congressman if he can secure a couple of front row tickets to Coldplay? You get it for him of course. Where do you go? To the record labels of course. The labels already have their hooks in Congress. When U2 was still a hot band everyone was looking for tickets for their constituents. Mark my words. I was there. It was a madhouse.

Anonymous said...

From Radio Business Report afternoon edition:

>>>Pandora losing hope?
Internet music source Pandora is highly successful. It claims 1M listeners and is said to be adding 40K new listeners daily via its tie to Apple's iPhone. Even more importantly, it has managed to monetize its service, pulling in $25M annually. But with 70% of that going straight into copyright fees, its existence is threatened.<<<


Anonymous said...

I encourage everyone to read the DMCA. It is an important document, and it gives insights into the mind of the music industry.

If you are an internet broadcaster, and you use Live365 as your service, you must sign a huge agreement, that says you will not play multiple cuts from an artist in a show, you won't provide a program guide telling listeners when songs will air, and you can't tell someone who has requested a song when it will air. All this to prevent taping off the air. Can you imagine if over the air broadcasters had to do this?

The music industry wants to control broadcasters (all broadcasters not just over the air) and force them to play certain music a certain way, and also force them to pay for it.

Anyone who thinks this is not a problem should read Tim Westergarten's interview in the Washington Post. If the music industry is already screwing internet broadcasters, and causing satellite to merge, you can only imagine what's in store for on-air folks. Lots of bureaucracy and lots of expense.

Anonymous said...

I second that. You would think Mel Karmazin's fingerprints are all over it except that they are not. He was on the other side of the fence and would not allow CBS radio to stream. Now that he is running the dual Sirius XM his biggest threat is internet radio and in-car routers. There is no comparison to internet radio and satellite and Mel knows it. He has to be one of the RIAA's biggest friends. We learned that when he backed off on the royalty war with them a few months back. The DMCA gives the record labels far too much power and the artists and others almost none. Their plan to compensate artists is laughable. Maybe if your name is Sting or Celene, perhaps. But if you are under a multi-platinum selling artist you will have as much chance of seeing your royalties from this scam as Leadbelly did from his label.

Anonymous said...

Hey those auto routers work like a charm. I have my laptop on one your favorites, John. Capital Radio. I'm driving down route 1. Sounds cool. Thanks for turning me on to Radio Paradise, too. Why can't all triple A formats sound like that?

Anonymous said...

No Sh!t...they are awesome.

Eff Sirius XM whatever. It is probably going to sound like Sirius anyway. I know how Mel operates. I'm really getting into internet radio stuff. Everything from the pirate live 365 stuff to the overseas station. This is so cool. I also listen to my original PBS station's local news and feel at home. This is the way to go and the MLB NFL NHL packages on line are MUCH better than satellite and you can get video too.

I can see Mel trying to GPS me to kill me dead. If you have Sirius XM stock cash it in.

Anonymous said...

Re: "No one including John Gorman brought up the fact that Save Net Radio represents only the big guys..."

Not so. Save Net Radio does try and distribute information, PSAs, and point-of-discussion literature to even the smallest webcaster.

Let's not forget some responsibility falls on the webcasters to seek out, and join in the actions required.

Also, don't forget that getting ten people to all do the same thing is a near impossible task. Imagine the difficulty in getting those 10,000+ small station owners to pull in the same direction.

Anonymous said...

To last anonymous -

You said:
--Let's not forget some responsibility falls on the webcasters to seek out, and join in the actions required.

--Also, don't forget that getting ten people to all do the same thing is a near impossible task.
Imagine the difficulty in getting those 10,000+ small station owners to pull in the same direction.--

I don't think anyone expected Save Net Radio to get everyone. By the same token, it should have taken a stronger leadership position early on in. A lawyer that wants to play it safe up against the RIAA is just plain foolish.

Save Net Radio needs new leadership, new direction and cannot continue to act like a bunch of know it all cloistered nuns.

Anonymous said...

Gorman, your timing as usual is perfect. How do you do it? This was in Channel Web:

****The Channel WireAugust 18, 2008Reports: CRB Killed The Internet Radio Star PandoraAfter an eight-year run, Pandora, the popular Internet music service, may be forced to shut down due to prohibitively expensive music royalties, according to reports.
"We're approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision," Pandora founder Tim Westergren told The Washington Post . "This is like a last stand for Web casting."

The static involves Web radio stations, such as Pandora; the royalty collection organization Sound Exchange, which represents music artists, record companies and The Industry Association of America (RIAA); and The Copyright Review Board (CRB), an offshoot of The Library of Congress.

Last year, Sound Exchange won a decision from the CRB to increase Internet radio's royalties between 300 and 1,200 percent, according to the organization SaveNetRadio. Previously, Web radio services used to pay an annual fee plus a percentage of the profits.

The decision translates into the following fee structure, according to The Radio and Internet Newsletter: 2006: $0.0008 to stream one song to one listener; 2007: $.0011; 2008: $.0014; 2009: $.0018; 2010: $.0019.

The CRB subsequently denied motions from groups including National Public Radio to rehear the case.

In a filing, The CRB said, "The parties arguments in their respective motions amount to nothing more than a rehash of the arguments that the judges considered in the initial determination."

Westergren told The Washington Post that when he heard the decision, he thought, "We're dead...multiplied by the millions of songs and thousands of listeners Pandora serves, that means the company will have to pay about $17 million this year," Westergren said.

SaveNetRadio pointed out that broadcast radio is exempt from the ruling and pays no performance royalties to record companies or recording artists. Satellite radio, pays between 3 percent and 7 percent of revenue in sound recording performance royalties.

Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Calif.) is attempting to broker a last-minute deal between Web radio stations and SoundExchange to reduce the fees, The Washington Post said.

"We're losing money as it is," Westergren told the paper. "The moment we think this problem in Washington is not going to get solved, we have to pull the plug because all we're doing is wasting money."****

I agree that people who listen to internet radio have to get vocal and speak up. Instead of a day of silence it should be a day of boycotting of buying any music from any label associated with the RIAA.

Anonymous said...

Is there any truth to the rumor that Clear Channel will be developing new stations and programming for Sirius XM and that the deal has already been done?

Goodbye, Sirius and XM programmers. We hardly new ye.

Anonymous said...

John Gorman, I know a lot of terrestrial radio managers read your blog and I would like to address them on this streaming matter since it will play dearly on their bottom line as well.

If the RIAA gets their way and there is a good chance they will considering the ineptness of Save Net Radio, you can rest assure that the RIAA will train their gun sites on terrestrial radio next.

They will get their way and terrestrial radio will be faced with a performance royalty. The RIAA are as well organized and influential in Congress at the National Rifle Assn.

When that happens, radio will be charged in a manner similar to streaming audio. The NAB does not have the influence in Congress that the RIAA has. They lost that when the radio industry went to hell after the Telecom bill.

John, you suggested this a while back and I thought you were crazy. I still think it is strange bedfellows tho it may be the only way to solve this problem. The NAB and Save Net should team up to fight the RIAA. Compare notes and don't be shy about payola, plugola and all the other instruments the labels have used illegally to get their music played on the radio. Show Congress what the RIAA is made of. Otherwise, we will have a lot of talk stations and little else.

Anonymous said...

Pandora did it right. They have a following. They have a site that probably turns more people on to more new music than any other streaming audio site.

You would think the labels and artists would love Pandora? No, instead they want to shut it down.

I hope they do at least temporarily.

You are right when you call the RIAA a goon squad. That is almost being too kind.

Anonymous said...

Pandora did it right. They have a following. They have a site that probably turns more people on to more new music than any other streaming audio site.

You would think the labels and artists would love Pandora? No, instead they want to shut it down.

I hope they do at least temporarily.

You are right when you call the RIAA a goon squad. That is almost being too kind.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for a way to comment, I overlooked this. The term is "exact copy" We are not streaming Exact copies. We don't broadcast them. Once they become mp3's they are different, We have a local FM station that uses wave files, exact copies and you can hear the difference. This has to be tested in court. Find a jury with good hearing and they'll know these are not EXACT COPIE. I doubt the NAB will help with their defence.

Kurt Hanson said...

John --

You make some very good points here, as do you readers, but I want to clarify a couple of things:

(1) It's a clear fact, not an argument, that the DMCA gives SoundExchange the right to collect royalties from webcasters. The "perfect digital copy" argument was used in persuading Congress to pass the law, but it's not part of the law itself, so even if it's not true, tough luck, the law got passed. (Apparently this technique happens in Washington DC once in a while. ;) )

(2) The "Day of Silence" was extremely effective at achieving its goals. It got the issue massive amounts of attention in dozens of major national publications, it created a huge buzz among Congressional staffers, and it energized hundreds of thousands of listeners to reach out to their Senators and Congressmen. As a result, dozens of Congressmen signed up as co-sponsors of the Internet Radio Equality Act.

But that was all a year ago. Admittedly, we're stuck at the moment -- negotiations are stalled, etc. So we would welcome fresh thinking!


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