Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Licensing Problem Silences Internet Radio Stations

Comments Filter:
  • Anagram (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:52AM (#35907138)
    Silences is an anagram for licenses. That's all I have. But I found that more interesting than TFS.
    • That's all you need... What more can be said?

    • The real story here is that swcast took their clients' money and told them they had a license to broadcast certain content, which turned out to be a lie. So swcast is the villain here, not soundexchange.
      • Re:Anagram (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:45PM (#35907568)

        So swcast is the villain here, not soundexchange.

        The true villain here is the US legal system, for threatening violent coercive force against those music providers who fail to pay a steep tax to a protected class of parasitic rentiers.

        • FTFMe -- good job, too!!
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          Hmm...wish there was an analogous way to run a pirate radio station on the internet like you can on the airwaves....something that isn't quite as easy to track...etc.

          Yes, I know the FCC will come looking for you...but they have to at least put some effort into finding you, and I'm guessing unless you are really high power and stepping over other people, messing with tvs, etc....they're not that well funded or interested in enough to chase everyone down.

          • ...wish there was an analogous way to run a pirate radio station on the internet...

            Not until wireless mesh can get around the service provider problem.. But that doesn't mean you can't setup a powerful wifi and/or make a 'mini mesh' for your neighborhood and just stream your music collection and/or propaganda

        • So swcast is the villain here, not soundexchange.

          The true villain here is the US legal system...

          I'm not convinced that's an "either-or" proposition. Seems to me you're both right.

        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          No the true villain here is Randall Krause.
          Did you see this guys picture from the swcast link?
          There is something wrong with him.

          Notice in his response nowhere does he state that he did in fact pay.

    • In the UK, they spell it "Cilences".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Traditionally, if you have trouble paying something, you pay to a reliable registered third party until things are cleared up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:03PM (#35907240)

    Wow. SWCast's "President" looks like an emo 17-year-old teen who just pulled a suit jacket out of a laundry hamper.

    I'm surprised he's not wearing a fedora, too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:03PM (#35907246)

    Unfortunately, I don't think things bode well for SWCast members.... The post by the CEO was lots of words about his wonderful past and very little substance about addressing the take down notice by SoundExchange. The SWCast CEO failed to refute any of their claims or provide any reassurance that their service would be up soon (note that this may be on the advice of his lawyers, but he doesn't even mention that he is working with his lawyers to resolve it ASAP)

    He doesn't even apologize to customers for the disruption.

  • by Risen888 (306092) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:08PM (#35907296)

    In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast.

    Well, I'm sorry, suckers, but that's what you get. If there's one lesson that New Media needs to get mercilessly beaten into its collective brain, it's that you do not attempt to play ball with Old Media. If anyone expected to get anything but fucked, shame on them.

    • by robot256 (1635039) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:22PM (#35907400)

      Sure, this wouldn't have happened if there were no license fees at all, but at face value this doesn't appear to be a media industry issue. Based on Sound Exchange's post, it would appear that SWCast was a fraudulent operation, plain and simple. This is no different from a Ponzi scheme or any other fraud. People thought they were paying for a service and instead the money went into a black hole. The radio stations were stupid to sign up without checking they were in compliance, and now they should sue the crap out of SWCast.

      • by JackSpratts (660957) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:25PM (#35907926) Homepage
        lol. soundexchange is the fraudulent operation, albeit one abetted by congress.
        • by westlake (615356)

          lol. soundexchange is the fraudulent operation, albeit one abetted by congress.

          Tell me what is fraudulent about collecting royalties for public performance - 45% of which go straight to the featured artist.

          5% to the session players.

          50% to the sound recording copyright owner, which can be an Indie label or the artist himself.

          If you want to know who pays royalties to SoundExchange, the full list for 2010 can be found here. [soundexchange.com]

          CBS, Clear Channel, Music Choice, Muzak, Pandora and so on. Muzak has been around since 1936.

          "Performance Rights" issues - wired and wireless - are nothing new.

          On

          • by tobiah (308208)

            Tell me what is fraudulent about collecting royalties for public performance - 45% of which go straight to the featured artist.

            5% to the session players.

            50% to the sound recording copyright owner, which can be an Indie label or the artist himself.

            Most artists don't get paid anything because they haven't bothered to register [soundexchange.com].

            • I *am* a comedy music artist, and I won't register. I won't register with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC either.

              Some things are more important than money. I simply don't want any third party to "represent" me.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        I've been browsing over some fo the Soundexchange's FAQ...wow, it sounds like they're wanting you to pay them if you have any sort of webcast. Maybe it is the wording....but almost sounds like if stream anything...even recordings YOU make yourself (musical or otherwise) they are wanting you to pay them a license???

        Can someone tell me if I'm reading that correctly or not?

        • by BlueStrat (756137) on Friday April 22, 2011 @04:41PM (#35909782)

          I've been browsing over some fo the Soundexchange's FAQ...wow, it sounds like they're wanting you to pay them if you have any sort of webcast. Maybe it is the wording....but almost sounds like if stream anything...even recordings YOU make yourself (musical or otherwise) they are wanting you to pay them a license???

          Can someone tell me if I'm reading that correctly or not?

          Yes, you're reading that right. The way the regulations are written, you must pay royalties to SoundExchange and then negotiate with them on reimbursement for works not copyrighted by one of the media/content cartel players.

          Even if you're streaming only your own totally original, personally-written & performed music., technically you must pay SoundExchange and then file with SoundExchange as the artist in question who is "owed", and hope you see the money back (minus SoundExchange's percentage, of course) before the next geologic age comes to pass.

          Basically it's a way to put a boot on the throat of non-cartel-associated streaming stations and independent artists/labels by buying legislation.

          It's all part of Big Media's efforts to prevent artists and their fans/customers from using the internet to do an end-run around Big Media's real-life, conventional distribution/publication/marketing channels that take cuts at each stage.

          Government will not help, as the internet and it's communications possibilities make government-types nervous, and so they're all for increasing internet restrictions, regulations, and controls in an effort to keep the populace under their control & surveillance while eliminating dissenting voices and economically-disruptive new individual-empowering distribution methods and technologies.

          Strat

    • by surgen (1145449) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:27PM (#35907426)

      This is not about "old media", this is about knowing that the person you contract with to provide a service is actually providing you that service (in this case license rights).

    • by westlake (615356) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:46PM (#35908214)
      SoundExhange is not old media.

      SoundExchange is a non-profit corporation that collects and distributes the statutory royalties for performances in new media:

      - Digital cable and satellite television services (Music Choice and Muzak)
      - Non-interactive 'webcasters" (including original programmers and retransmissions of FCC-licensed radio stations by aggregators)
      - Satellite radio services.

      The split looks like this:

      50% to the sound recording copyright owmer.
      45% to the featured artist. (which can be a group or ensemble)
      5% to non-featured artists.

      The payout to date: $614 million.

      To about 46,000* registered performers and 6,000 SCROs - an SCRO can be an artist owned "label," of course.

      Registration is free, "membership" is free, but membership is not required. SoundExchange [soundexchange.com]

      ____

      * In a population of 300 million, this may give you some notion of what it takes to become a professional musician with significant national exposure.

      • The reason that SoundExchange exists is because Old Media lobbied congress to make New Media prohibitively expensive. SoundExchange is the gatekeeper preventing New Media from having the impact it would otherwise, while the same restrictions don't apply to Old Media.

      • Sound Exchange doesn't just collect for members, they collect royalties for non-members as well.
        AKA even if you play only PD and CC licensed music, you still have to pay Sound Exchange royalties.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          Not true. They do not collect for music under which an existing license agreement exists. That means that CC-licensed music does not require any payment through Sound Exchange. If the author is a member, it falls under this clause:

          SoundExchange membership is on a nonexclusive basis. This means that you are free to direct license a webcaster or other digital music service provider in addition to our representation of your catalog.

          Creative Commons licensing constitutes a direct license, provided that the w

      • by Risen888 (306092)

        So they're a gatekeeper for...Old Media? Well color me not corrected.

    • In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast.

      They *THOUGHT* they where paying to legally broadcast. But the facts are that SWcast was not passing on the cash to the licencing authority. In fact they had not made any payments since 2005.

      So, basically, SWcast is what's know as a SCAM.

      This has very little - if anything - to do with the Big Bad Old Media, and everything to do with a rip-off artist in Champagne, Illinois.

  • Apparently SoundExchange has a new president, and this might be a factor in acting on several years of missing payments. In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast.

    No, they weren't paying to legally broadcast. Yes they were paying SWCast, but since SWCast wasn't paying their fees, they had no license, and as such they shouldn't have been telling their clients everything is ok.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The closest analogy I can think of is someplace being an Exchange hosted provider, not paying Microsoft for use of any of their software, then getting shut down by the BSA.

      If I were one of SWCast's customers, I'd be pretty pissed.

      • by robot256 (1635039)
        I didn't know Microsoft contracted with the Boy Scouts of America to do copyright enforcement. Those corporate tentacles go everywhere, don't they?
        • Apparently, you have never dealt with the top people at either BSA. Both are primarily interested in money.
    • Re:Err no (Score:4, Interesting)

      by whoever57 (658626) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:13PM (#35907820) Journal

      No, they weren't paying to legally broadcast.

      And that's sooo different to SoundExchange failing to pay artists because it "can't find them"! [p2pnet.net]

      • Basically your linked "story" says that because SoundExchange doesn't have contact information for a bunch of marginal little know and little played "artists", they are somehow evil?

        If you are an "artist" and you are seeking your payments, perhaps YOU should contact SoundExchange with your here-to unknown contact info?
        • by whoever57 (658626)

          Basically your linked "story" says that because SoundExchange doesn't have contact information for a bunch of marginal little know and little played "artists", they are somehow evil?

          If you read some of the other stories about SoundExchange, you will see that many of the artists that Sound Exchange could not find were easily found by people who actually tried. Meanwhile SoundExchange has millions of dollars in its accounts that should be paid to these "marginal" artists.

      • by tobiah (308208)

        Perhaps doubters will find SoundExchange's own list of unpaid artists [soundexchange.com] more convincing.

  • Within the last hour or so, it appears that the swcast.net web site has completely been taken down, and people that attempt to log on to swcast.net are now directed to the SOundexchange web site.

    So, if you don't pay the ransom to the RIAA they hijack your website? And they have the nerve to call other people pirates?

    • Re:Piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cdrguru (88047) on Friday April 22, 2011 @12:46PM (#35907572) Homepage

      No it is far closer to say that if you need to pay taxes and instead you pay a guy on the streetcorner that says he will take care of everything for you... well, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

      At the very least some people should have checked up on what was going on. Apparently, the people paying SWCast didn't check to see that they were actually legitimate. They were not, so anyone that trusted them got screwed.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        When did the MAFIAA get the force of law?
        Sound Exchange is a private company, they even collect for artists who they never pay and have never contacted or been contacted by.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    when RIAA was going after Pandora, I remember reading about sound exchange, on how they collect royalty irregardless whether they have any rights to collect the royalty at all. Sound exchange claims they hold in escrow money collected for artist they do not have right to collect for. I feel that for that alone they should be sued to the ground for restraint of trade. They are interposing them selves on behalf of third parties that never wanted them to interpose in the first place.

    • by westlake (615356)

      I remember reading about sound exchange, on how they collect royalty irregardless whether they have any rights to collect the royalty at all.

      You remember wrong.

      The Library of Congress, as an agent of the Congress of the United States, has authorized SoundExchange as the only group that can administer government sound recording licenses.

      General Questions [soundexchange.com]

      You do not have to a member of SoundExhange to collect your royalties. You only have to register. Registration and membership are both free.

      It is a little more compex for the (unlogged) session player - SoundExchange pays out his share to AFTRA and AFM for distribution.

  • So, I'm curious: Is there any organization that does direct label->broadcaster agreements (or acting as a clearinghouse for those sorts of agreements)? I believe (though IANAL) that a direct contract between a label & a broadcaster for a given netcasting rate would bypass the need to pay SoundExchange (since you wouldn't be relying on the compulsory license). Is there any organization doing that sort of contract work out in the wild net?

  • From the SoundExchange posting: "We’re sorry that SWCast chose not to comply with the law, and we hope SWCast fans will find another (legal) provider by which to enjoy the tracks we all love. Meanwhile, we’ll be holding down the fort here..."

    Holding down the fort? Excuse me? Are these guys actually invoking a metaphor of isolation and danger? Please. These guys have been sitting on their butts and drinking cappuccinos, or something. Why should it take six years to notice that SWcast.net
  • I keep hearing the word license used more and more to copyrighted works. I remember it beginning with software, which was a word that we distinguished as applying to the executable binaries, not the source code. This distinction remained for a long time, justifying the contractual relationship with using software that does not apply to reading books. Now, we hear licensing all the time to copyrighted works. This is creating an image that the owner of the copyright can unilaterally create a contractual relationship tied to what happens after the works are copied. In the context of music, is it justifiable to refer to these fees as a form of licensing? Should we be pushing back on the use of the term "licensing"?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Statutory license under the US copyright act is not related in any way to contract law. It is, if anything, a restriction of rights to the rights holder granting anyone who wishes to use the copyrighted material a license PROVIDED that they are in compliance with the terms. Which SWCast clearly were not.

      So, you can push back, but against what?

    • I keep hearing the word license used more and more to copyrighted works.

      No offense, but that speaks more to your inexperience or lack of knowledge than any change in how business is being or has been done. Nothing particular has changed, licenses with regards to IP have been around a long, long time.

  • by JackSpratts (660957) on Friday April 22, 2011 @01:39PM (#35908132) Homepage

    nobody should be playing ball w/soundexchange. it's a racket, pure and simple. 40,000 internet radio stations were silenced overnight when these new broadcasting fees, abetted congress, aimed only at and deliberately hobbling internet radio, kicked in a decade ago.

    no station is "thriving" today despite claims by se to the contrary, unless they use streaming as a loss leader for other profitable ventures.

    between soundexchange and now data caps what could have been a new, exciting and truly democratic broadcasting medium where anyone could stream content to anywhere, has been throttled to near asphyxiation.

    internet broadcasters should simply shut down and walk away until congress and the music industry realize that the promotional value of streaming - like ota broadcasting - far outweighs any limited fees that accrue from performance royalties.

    - js.

    • nobody should be playing ball w/soundexchange.

      Perhaps not, but guess what? That's how it (legally) works.
      br>And SoundExchange has nothing at all to do with SWCast running a scam operation where they took money for services they were not actually providing.

      • lol, you mean in addition to the scam being perpetrated by soundexchange. the amount of collected royalties vs. those distributed to performers is of course lopsided. but we all knew that going in didn't we?

        btw, last i looked extraordinary rendition was legal too. depressing yes, but it doesn't make it right or even particularly noteworthy. .

        - js.

        • No, that's not what I mean.

          YOU are a "user", and you want everything for free. The people that actually make, produce, and own music actually want to be paid for their work.
          • "No, that's not what I mean. YOU are a 'user', and you want everything for free. The people that actually make, produce, and own music actually want to be paid for their work."

            didn't you get paid for your work already, or do you believe you're someone who is entitled to be paid over and over for a job done once?

            but you know what? i'm digressing. the scam is this: the record industry cannot survive without the giant promotional juggernaut that is free air and streamplay. it has been ever thus. if i need to

        • The amount of royalties for simply playing an artist's work is quite equitable.

          The split looks like this:

          50% to the sound recording copyright owmer.
          45% to the featured artist. (which can be a group or ensemble)
          5% to non-featured artists.

          Perhaps the ratio could be more in favor of the artist, but 45% is *NOT* bad at all.
          • I guess those numbers would mean something if the revenue streams were there.

            Yet for some reason, in this country only Webcasters (and cable and satellite to a much lesser extent of course) remunerate the recording artists while every other commercial user is free and clear of paying paying ANY royalties for sound recordings played. Terrestrial radio? Nope. Nightclubs and Bars? Nothing. Amusement parks? Nada. Music on hold? Don't even think it.

            Seems there could be an awful lot of other sources of reve
  • "Pop" music is as ephemeral as a mayfly -- top 10 today and forgotten tomorrow. Listen instead to classical music. While recent performances might be under copyright, the music itself is no longer protected. By "classical music", I mean not only Bach and Beethoven but also music that was popular 50-100 years ago and is still popular. Streaming broadcasts of such music over the Internet do not seem impacted by the contention between SWCast.net and SoundExchange.

    By the way, see what I have to say about cu

  • Thank you for visiting SWCast Network
    We are experiencing technical difficulties at this time. Please be patient as we work to resolve the problem.

    They must be getting hammered.
  • I just started a small online radio station using Icecast. I'm broadcasting all local, unsigned rock bands in my area. This way, I don't have to pay any protection^W royalty fees to the RIAA and friends. It also helps nurture my local music scene. =)

    • by tobiah (308208)

      It doesn't matter if they're unsigned, SoundExchange doesn't have an option for not collecting royalties and as the only register EVERYONE is represented by them. I've wondered why someone hasn't started another non-profit registry for CC licensed music, since the framework which created SoundExchange allows for that. It would have to get approved by the Library of Congress, and there are a few requirements, but it's doable. Note that SoundExchange does offer an opt-out for Polka [wired.com].

  • Internet broadcasters will just keep splitting into smaller an smaller groups, getting less attention and harder to track and regulate. Many local bands and singers are not members of these groups and the payout to the labels and recording organizations. The royalties paid in by broadcasters do not go to these bands and its just a waste. As long as some basic rules are followed and the site does not make a profit, there is no reason why broadcasters should be paying these fees.
  • I take it that the SoundExchange "jurisdiction" does not extend past U. S. borders?

    Webcasters: I can recommend several good low-end VPS providers with terabyte+ bandwidth limits that are not located in the "United States of Getting All Up In Yo Pocket".

    Or you can check out lowendbox.

A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Working...