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Copyright Office Proposes Webcasting Regs 298

Posted by michael
from the muzak-for-everyone dept.
deadsquid writes: "Streaming to a desktop near you, the death knell of online radio stations. Continuing to pave the money trail the RIAA and others claim to be theirs and theirs alone, the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel has released their ideas on what webcasters should pay to re-broadcast copyrighted material over the Internet. A good summary can be found at the Radio and Internet Newsletter, which provides an outline of what hoops net broadcasters must jump through, in addition to what they must pay. To say the rates are ridiculous is an understatement, and the amount of information required from the broadcaster to the copyright holder is ludicrous. The cost of bandwidth and delivery is already high enough, and this ruling, if upheld, kinda removes any hope of surmounting operating costs and continuing on. " Webcasters will have to report a great deal of information about their listeners according to the reporting requirements that the Copyright Office has proposed.

I thought I'd just summarize briefly for people who don't follow these issues:

Copyright law gives the record companies the right to prevent others from making copies of "their" music, except in certain cases where there is a "compulsory license" written into the law. In these cases, the record companies can't prevent anyone from using "their" music, but there is a mandatory fee that they must get paid. This "compulsory license" scheme was meant to keep the music industry from taking over the radio industry by simply refusing to license their music to certain radio stations (ones that didn't play ball, naturally). The U.S. Copyright Office sets the fees and revises them occasionally.

So the same idea was applied to webcasting music. In theory, this keeps the record companies from eliminating all-but-one or all-but-a-couple of the webcasters - anyone can webcast, you just have to pay the fee. However, if the record industry has too much influence over the process, they might try things like getting "compulsory license" fees set very high, or making sure that the record-keeping requirements are so onerous that it's impossible to comply with them.

In effect, this eliminates the "compulsory license" - because it's economically infeasible to comply with it. Webcasters can still seek individual licenses from the record companies, but this gets back to the original problem - the record companies have no obligation to make life easy for the nascent webcaster.

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Copyright Office Proposes Webcasting Regs

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  • This is just the impetus Gnutella, Morpheus, Kazaa, and friends need to add anonymous peer-to-peer streaming support :^)
    • Re:Great :^) (Score:2, Interesting)

      by I Want GNU! (556631)
      I'm sorry to say this, as I like the idea of file sharing programs as much as the next guy, but they are usually used without any license at all and are illegal. The RIAA rips off both musicians and their fans, but pirating their music off these programs still rips off the musicians and is just plain wrong.

      What we need is a system that rips off neither the musicians nor the fans, not one that promotes illegal activity (yes, there are rightful uses for file sharing programs, but usually they are for illegal music and software and movies, as can be seen by watching incoming searches).
      • Re:Great :^) (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jeremi (14640) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @10:08PM (#3041549) Homepage
        What we need is a system that rips off neither the musicians nor the fans, not one that promotes illegal activity...


        Well, maybe... or perhaps we need to redefine what "ripping off" means wrt "intellectual property".


        I assert that the advent of cheap PCs on the the Internet changes what "natural rights" people ought to have. I believe that rights can and sometimes should change in response to changes in technology -- the Internet's great gift to humanity is that it makes data sharing as easy as speaking; that advantage outweighs the content producer's disadvantage of having to find a new business model to adapt.


        Specifically, people ought to be able to copy any data they want at any time, as long as they are not benefitting commercially from that copying. As for the artists, I think systems like OpenCulture [openculture.org] or FairTunes [fairtunes.com] may be the best answer to their problems.

        • By the way, just what in the hell is a "natural right"? I've seen that term popping up on /. more and more often, but no one has pointed out exactly what a "natural right" is.

          I suspect that this is a term invented to cover those things that we think should be rights, but aren't listed in any document anywhere.

          Last time I heard, the only rights we had (in the US) were those listed in the Bill of Rights (plus interpretations as according to various courts of law).

          Can someone please inform the more ignorant of us what a "natural right" is and give some concrete examples so we know that you're not just blowing smoke up our asses?

          [Specifically, people ought to be able to copy any data they want at any time, as long as they are not benefitting commercially from that copying]. Why? If I produce data, why shouldn't I get paid for the effort of assembling, collating, folding, spindling and mutilating it? These are the questions that plague me and no one seems to have a good answer.
          • By the way, just what in the hell is a "natural right"?

            Get an education. If you grew in the U.S.A. you need to go back to grade school and enroll in a Social Studies class.

            Can someone please inform the more ignorant of us what a "natural right" is and give some concrete examples so we know that you're not just blowing smoke up our asses?

            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

            Sorry for the flame but you really are ignorant. The entire Bill of Rights (BoR) is based on the idea of natural rights. The BoR takes the idea of natural rights and codifies for practical use in a society.

            See also:

            • Sorry, but I don't buy it. Rights (as I understand) are granted by a more powerful entity to a less-powerful entity. In other words, the government allows that people have certain rights to vote, assemble, speak, etc., but those rights can be retracted at any given time. Here in the US that would be problematic, at best. Other countries have more or less rights due to history and philosophy and it is easier to grant or deny those rights at will.

              I view rights as a human construct, something we created to share power between government and the governed. Without a more powerful entity to grant rights to the lesser entity, those rights do not exist and we live in a state of anarchy. So I still don't buy the argument of natural rights.

              Now, that power can be defined many ways. For instance, say I own land and you don't. I have a power that you don't, so I can grant you the right to use that land. This is not a natural right - it is a granted right that I allow you to exercise. And it only exists because I have something that you don't.

              So, I have a little better understanding of "natural rights" now, you asshole, but I still don't buy it.
              • First off I apologize for the flame, nothing personal. I just get frutrated when people really don't understand some of the basics tenets that this country was founded on. I really want you to understand...

                Sorry, but I don't buy it. Rights (as I understand) are granted by a more powerful entity to a less-powerful entity.

                You understand incorrectly if you're referring to the political system of the U.S.A. If it's your opinion that that's what rights should be then fine.

                In other words, the government allows that people have certain rights to vote, assemble, speak, etc., but those rights can be retracted at any given time.

                Go back to the quote "We hold these truths to be self-evident etc." The rights exist in the first place. The government is given permission by the people to restrict rights under certain circumstances. The government get its rights from the people not the other way around. This is the foundation of our form of government. Read the Bill of Rights. It doesn't grant rights to the people it sets limits on the government ensuring the rights of the people -- the rights that exist naturally. Those rights cannot be retracted at any time. The government has to have a damn good reason to deny anyone their rights.

                I view rights as a human construct, something we created to share power between government and the governed. Without a more powerful entity to grant rights to the lesser entity, those rights do not exist and we live in a state of anarchy. So I still don't buy the argument of natural rights.

                You are entitled to your own view of rights. But, this country, its Constitution and laws are based on the concept of natural rights. That's not my opinion, it's historical fact.

                Your original post questioned whether people were "blowing smoke up your ass" with the term natural rights. They weren't. It is a well established political philosophy that is the backbone of this nation and many others.

                So, I have a little better understanding of "natural rights" now, you asshole, but I still don't buy it.

                I encourage you to read up on John Locke to get a better understanding of natural rights.

        • well, the content providers of yor had a business because there was a need for some one to distribute the content.......well, as you said, the internet makes data sharing as easy as talking, woops....no more business modle.
        • I assert that the advent of cheap PCs on the the Internet changes what "natural rights" people ought to have.

          The "content" industry agrees with you. That's why they're trying to make computers illegal. =D
    • Stealing music is NOT a solution. It makes you just as immoral as they are. There ARE solutions. Try www.ampcast.com The more they tighten the screws the more they should be ignored. If enough people ignored them they'll dry up and float away. If not, screw their product! As an individual you CAN go elsewhere...
  • Lets not forget that radio was the ultimate source of creation of the RIAA. I'm sick of hearing about this crap. Streaming audio, and other forms of audio delivery over the internet, is the future of broadcasting. The quality isn't too bad now, and is going to get better over time as the technology improves, just as radio did in its distant past. I'm finally convinced that the RIAA is nothing but a roadblock on the highway of progress.

    Will somebody please move these retards out of the way, so we can finally move along?

    • Re:Lets not forget (Score:3, Insightful)

      by I Want GNU! (556631)
      Unfortunately, it is difficult for the end user to do so, since it isn't their work being ripped off. The artists must stand strong and united and say, "Hey! We made that music, and we don't like how you are restricting it! Why don't we just go and start our own association, one that doesn't put silly restrictions on things and prevent us from getting the fair end of the deal! It's time for the RIAA to stop taking advantage of us, the musicians, and our fans!"
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I have setup a MS streaming audio server at my house, so I can listen to a radio station in Michigan where ever I am. You just plug in a radio to the audio in port, then use Real audio or MS streaming server to stream it out to your work computer or laptop whereever you are in the world.
  • there are stations that play only music from non-major label sources. you just have to look around for them. i like BeOSRadio [beosradio.com] myself, but that's 'cause i'm Be biased. :)
  • by xee (128376) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:33PM (#3041391) Journal
    I'm enjoying this opportunity to get a near-first post to voice my opinion about a topic i hold very near and dear to my heart. It's right there next to my American pride, and my severe freedom-loving disorder.

    I think we should not be *discouraged* by this rediculous legislation. The RIAA will continue to trampel our rights to speech and expression as long as they are able to go after every single offender of these new laws. Once we achieve a critical mass greater than their lawyers can handle, they will no longer have the ability to force this legislation onto us.

    This strategy of disregard for the American Way will stand as long as there are enough sheep out there buying every product the RIAA supplies them with.

    The RIAA is amazingly better than Microsoft at manipulating the public. Not only is the RIAA trampeling our rights with this legislation, but they are raising our children to appreciate tasteless music. Once the youth of America grows up with no taste or preference for music, movies, or art, they will have no cause to stand up for their rights. There will be no reason to fight for the right to broadcast the music they like simply because they will have been trained to not like any particular music. There will be no impetus for creative expression once there is no example of creative expression.

    The RIAA must be boycotted on a large scale. Do not buy your children the newest pop-craze. Do not pay royaltees for what is explicitly allowed in the copyright law. Do not succumb to the legislation that seeks to revoke and repeal the rights granted to us by the framers of the constitution.

    Since everyone is on the terrorist bandwagon, i'd like to point something out: legislation of this sort (including the DMCA et al) is perhaps more anti-American than any terrorist organization could ever hope to be. While the terrorists are trying to fuck up our system from the outside, corporate interest is SUCCESSFULLY fucking it up from the inside.

    THE RIAA IS CAUSING MORE HARM TO THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE THAN ANY TERRORIST ORGANIZATION COULD EVER DREAM TO.

    This all begs the question: if Osama bin Laden is so rich, why doesn't he just hire a few lobbyists. It seems to work pretty well for the RIAA, MPAA, and others.
    • Unfortunately, boycotting the RIAA does not work. Every little bit helps out, but they still make huge amounts of money through the mindless drones that go out and buy their "popular" music. Instead, we need to write every politician, news agency, and music label and protest the obscene actions of the RIAA. Through millions of voices, we will be heard.

      Also, I must be forced to disagree with your comparison of the RIAA with terrorists. Terrorists kill people. The RIAA tramples over their rights but does not kill them. If it killed them, they could no longer to afford to buy the RIAA's music, depriving them of profits. ;-)
    • Once we achieve a critical mass greater than their lawyers can handle, they will no longer have the ability to force this legislation onto us.

      I wish I could agree, but I don't. You could apply that argument to anything that (rightly or wrongly) defines a crime. The threat of possible consequences might prevent this critical mass from appearing. I think that's why these cretins are pushing this agenda - they want to get in front of what will otherwise be an unstoppable juggernaut.

      And come on now, the law is the law! That's why nobody ever commits fellatio in Missouri.
      • Well...
        You can agree. Here's how... This juggernaut (good word, btw) will exist if the sheep are not enlightened. RIAA is attempting to oppress in just the same way as many third-world dictators are. The sheep see the sacraficial lamb, and get scared. This kinda goes on a tangent from the issue, but is relevant nonetheless. You're absolutely right: the threats of legal action will intimidate many sheep into complacancy. This is inevitable. I did not expect my call to action to awaken every single person who read it; only a few.

        Also, while i do like your fellatio-in-Missouri example, it hardly compares to a radio broadcast. Fellatio is (usually) performed in private, however, a radio broadcast is -- by its very nature -- a public performance. It's easy to stay under the radar getting BJs in your own home, car, or alley, but such a low-key radio broadcast kinda defeats its own purpose. And yeah, there's lots of public fellatio jokes to be made here.
    • they are raising our children to appreciate
      tasteless music.


      Like hell they are. They're simply trying to make as much money as possible. And what they're doing today is no different than what they have ever done -- if it's not Britney Spears, then it's Nirvana, or Michael Jackson, or KISS, or the Beatles, or Elvis Presley, or Frankie Valli.

      they will have been trained to not like any
      particular music. There will be no impetus for
      creative expression once there is no example of
      creative expression.


      I wasn't aware it was the RIAA's duty to provide any of that. You want to expose your kids to creative expression? TAKE THEM TO A DAMN ART GALLERY. Or a concert hall, or an independent film festival, or whatever. Don't rely on media profiteers to teach your kids culture.

      THE RIAA IS CAUSING MORE HARM TO THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE THAN ANY TERRORIST ORGANIZATION COULD
      EVER DREAM TO.


      Absurd. Even putting aside the fact that terrorists have caused and will continue you to cause more people to DIE than the RIAA ever will, your statement is utterly absurd.

      If your idea of "the American way of life" involves nothing more than being able to make fair-use copies of the music you buy, you might have a point. But look at all the IMPORTANT civil liberties that our own goverment is trying to reduce, in DIRECT reaction to terrorist activity.

      Bah.
      • You make a couple good points, but it's hard to find them in all the crap. :P just kidding.

        I concede that the RIAA isn't killing anyone. This has been pointed out in another reply. Again, I stand corrected.

        As for your creative interpretation of my argument: that I am somehow saying that it is the RIAA's responsibility to give my kids some culture... As with many other counter-arguments that people have made to this thread, you are drawing invalid conclusions -- you create a point and then argue with it as if it was my point. And again, i never said that a Commercial Success == crappy music. You did. I said that the RIAA is trying to push rather bland music into the Top 40s in the apparant hope of quelling a childs taste for music. Things are not as black and white (yeah, there's different levels of black-and-whiteness) as your argument requires. Your argument would have it that the RIAA either DOES or DOES NOT raise the children. This is so false. In fact, it's beyond false. It's rediculous. The RIAA does not raise the children. BUT then again, neither do the parents. It has been demonstrated time and again that children learn from all stimuli they are exposed to. The RIAA, in their push toward a bland Top 40, is doing all they can to keep a childs exposure to music as bland and uniform as possible. I know this is a difficult concept to explain, and probably even more difficult to understand.
  • Absurd requirements (Score:5, Informative)

    by mochan_s (536939) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:34PM (#3041395)
    Requirements

    A) The name of the service
    B) The channel of the program (AM/FM stations use station id)
    C) The type of program (Archived/Looped/Live)
    D) Date of Transmission
    E) Time of Transmission
    F) Time zone of origination of Transmission
    G) Numeric designation of the place of the sound recording within the program
    H) Duration of transmission (to nearest second)
    I) Sound Recording Title
    J) The ISRC code of the recording
    K) The release year of the album per copyright notice and in the case of compilation albums, the release year of the album and copyright date of the track
    L) Featured recording artist
    M) Retail album title
    N) The recording Label
    O) The UPC code of the retail album
    P) The catalog number
    Q) The copyright owner information
    R) The musical genre of the channel or program (station format)

    Jeez. That's going to need new databases for radio stations.
    At least I don't have to call in to ask what song they were just playing. I'll even get the UPC code and the album name and copyright owner information right there.


    And a listener's log listing:
    1) The name of the service or entity
    2) The channel or program
    3) the date and time that the user logged in (the user's timezone)
    4) the date and time that the user logged out (the user's timezone)
    5) The time zone where the signal was received (user)
    6) Unique User identifier
    7) The country in which the user received the transmissions

    I'm sure they put on the unique user identifier in there just in case someone actually implemented all the others to comply.
    • This is still under consideration and the commnet period is still open on the conditions and infor gatered. The problem is you will find musicians back this as they want an accurate accounting which up to now has been done from sampling, which favors the "Big Name" musicians, but does nothing for the little guy..in fact he might get left out all together...
    • Charge for access for that information for 3rd party developers. Sure, you broadcasters could get it free from various sources, but its not practical. Enter a licensed database held by BMI, ASCAP, and the RIAA members. Suddenly, you can automate your streaming software to grab all the required info from the database. Something like Gracenote or FreeDB, but for streaming servers.

      Now imagine what you'll need to pay for that info access. They get you coming and going.

      Really, i believe most of these requirements can be easily overcome, but the Big Boys don't want to play fair.
  • by rlp (11898) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:35PM (#3041402)
    And I'm sure that the labels will forward at least 0.000000000000001% of any Webcast fees to the artist. Hell, they earned it!
  • I remember that statutory licensing was set up a while ago; why is it being changed? What were the old fees? Or are those fees for something different?
    • These are the old fees.. the recording industry and webcasters couldn't agree, so it went to abitration. The fees are retro active until 1998 when the law was passed and must be paid within 20 days of the approval of the rates. You're going to see a lot of Webcasters disappear faster than you can type /.
  • This is so crazy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FakePlasticDubya (472427) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:39PM (#3041419) Homepage
    This is outrageous. I am the manager of a non-commercial station at a High School, and we just recently began netcasting. We already pay over $3000 a year in license fees to play music on the normal airwaves. Now we have to pay even more to play the same music over the internet? I don't understand, either we have a license to play it or not...

    And anyway, how is it that we have to pay large fees to promote their music? We are non-commercial, we get nothing out of it! What is going on? A long time ago, there was the whole "Payola" scandal where the record companies paid stations to play certain records. Now it's the other way around? This is insane. We will have to stop netcasting because of this, and that makes me so angry.
    • Well, asside from the absurd reality of the whole situation that is being thrust upon us by those with large sums of money more than we could ever have... why the hell are you wasting taxpayer's money on a HighSchool radio station? $3000? That could be used to get some better textbooks, hell anything! Tutorial materials for students who are not doing that great in different subjects, something other than this blatant misappropriation of the taxpayer's money.
      • I'm sure $3000 is a pittance compared to the sports budget.
    • You can netcast. You just can't use someone elses IP without paying royalties. Do talk shows. Create your own content. Do call in shows. Get the students involved in the community. Use local talent. Record the student choir doing irish folk songs that are now public domain. Build a library. It can be done and is good for the students who are working on broadcasting. Subscribe to UPI and AP and do your own news.
  • Just an example (Score:5, Informative)

    by baka_boy (171146) <lennon@GIRAFFEda ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:40PM (#3041421) Homepage
    My old school had a campus radio station, and about 1200 students. Last I heard, they were considering an on-campus-only webcast of the radio broadcast (since the signal was to weak to reach many parts of campus, especially the many "basement" work and rec rooms). So, assuming even 10% listenership, and the cheapest licensing schedule (for non-CPB-funded "public" stations) their fees would look something like this:

    120 "listeners" * 18hr./day programming * 12 "performances"/hr. * $0.02/"performance" ==> $518.40/day.

    That's right, folks, a college radio station with just over a hundred listeners could reasonably pay over $500 per day just for the privilege of putting their broadcast on the web.

    Ain't (lobbyist-directed) beurocracy grand?
    • Re:Just an example (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The Fanfan (264958)
      You have your math wrong by 2 orders of magnitude. The proposed rate is 0.02c per performance, not $0.02 (that is 2c). So :

      120 listeners * 18 hrs/day * 12 perfs/hr = 25920 perfs/day. = $5.184 /day.>br>

      Not so outrageous. It still adds up to nearly $2.000 a year though...

      What's really outrageous is the very idea of paying anything to the RIAA mob knowing where's the money actually goes. Beats me...

      Do humanity a favor. Eat a RIAA lobbyist for breakfast.
      • I listen to Live365 and Shoutcast stations fairly often. Let's see what will happen to them:

        This applies to a station with a medium-sized listener base.

        (1000 listeners * 12 songs/hour * 24 hours/day * 365 days/yr * $.0014 Fee/performance) * 1.09 Ephemeral License Fee = $160,413.12/yr

        OUCH!

        There goes webcasting. Shoutcast and Live365 each have hundreds of stations. Maybe only 50 or so have a high volume of traffic, but any way you cut it, these rates will kill webcasting. But that's their intent of course, so it makes perfect sense.

    • $0.02??? According to the fee schedule I saw it was 0.02 cents. That's $5.18/day, not $518.40

      What am I missing?
    • That's right, folks, a college radio station with just over a hundred listeners could reasonably pay over $500 per day just for the privilege of putting their broadcast on the web

      Or they could *gasp* play something original instead of the same unadulterated crap that is licensed by the RIAA. I think it's a sad day when people proclaim that a radio station can't exist that can play something original and different.

      Also, as another poster pointed out, the fee is 0.02 cents per performance - bringing the grand total to about $5.18/day.
      • the RIAA makes it a known fact they control %90 of the recording industry. The so called indie labels, owned by a larger company that is an RIAA member. There still is a lot of quality music out there, but it gets hard to find outside of RIAA (Mafia) world
    • 120 "listeners" * 18hr./day programming * 12 "performances"/hr. * $0.02/"performance" ==> $518.40/day.

      That's right, folks, a college radio station with just over a hundred listeners could reasonably pay over $500 per day just for the privilege of putting their broadcast on the web.


      Actually, the price is 0.02c not $0.02 That makes a factor of 100 difference. So the college radio would really only be paying about five bucks a day for such a small audience. Sell about a thousand dollars of advertising to your local Pizza Hut and to Nike and you've got a full year's coverage.

      (I may be wrong, I'm English but I just got my American wife to check and she tells me I'm reading US currency correctly.)
  • by Ryu2 (89645) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:41PM (#3041426) Homepage Journal
    And a listener's log listing: 1) The name of the service or entity

    Straightforward, I guess.

    2) The channel or program

    Sure.

    3) the date and time that the user logged in (the user's timezone)

    User's time zone? This would require resolution of the country that they were in, at the least (see #7 for why this is impossible), and even then it would be insufficient for large coutries, like the US, Canada or Russia...

    And how do you define logging in/logging out in a inherently stateless web? Will all streaming sites require cookies/login schemes?

    4) the date and time that the user logged out (the user's timezone)

    5) The time zone where the signal was received (user)

    See above...

    6) Unique User identifier

    I think only MS and Real support this invasion of privacy. Does this therefore exclude other streaming formats like ogg and mp3? More money for MS and Real?

    7) The country in which the user received the transmissions

    Impossible to determine exactly. At best, reverse DNS lookup. But what if your reverse DNS resolves not to a country, but a gTLD? Do they expect a lookup of WHOIS data (usually inaccurate) to find out the country of a IP address?

    In short, I see no way of getting most data the data without massive invasions of privacy and fundamental changes to software and Internet standards...
    • A) The name of the service
      B) The channel of the program (AM/FM stations use station id)
      C) The type of program (Archived/Looped/Live)
      D) Date of Transmission
      E) Time of Transmission

      OK, sure I guess.

      F) Time zone of origination of Transmission

      What about Akamai and other geographically distributed content delivery networks?

      G) Numeric designation of the place of the sound recording within the program

      ???

      H) Duration of transmission (to nearest second)

      What about IP multicast?

      I) Sound Recording Title
      J) The ISRC code of the recording
      K) The release year of the album per copyright notice and in the case of compilation albums, the release year of the album and copyright date of the track
      L) Featured recording artist
      M) Retail album title
      N) The recording Label
      O) The UPC code of the retail album
      P) The catalog number
      Q) The copyright owner information


      Why all this info? Would not J and/or O be sufficient? I assume the RIAA has a database with all the other info...

      R) The musical genre of the channel or program (station format)

      Is there a set list of genres? Can I put "crap" for this field? :-)
    • I just was reading this today and thinking what a crock.

      Microsoft Program Tracks User Info [yahoo.com]

      ..."As part of downloading the information about songs and movies from the Web site, the program also transmits an identifier number unique to each user on the computer. That creates the possibility that user habits could be tracked and sold for marketing purposes."...

      -Russ

    • Even if the fees don't put netradio out of business, the sheer technical difficulties of implementing this system will. A double-whammy guarranteed to crush everyone who isn't a member of the inner circle.

      (Offtopic: does anyone know how rare moderation is? I can metamoderate all the time but I've never once in the last few years been allowed to moderate, regardless of account or karma. Is it really a "once-in-a-blue-moon" sort of deal?)

      Max
  • Regardless of the impact KaZaA has on CD sales, it pretty much puts web radio out of business, anyway. I can see why the RIAA wants it stamped out, and I'm sure that they'll find numerous ways to give web radio a little shove toward death, but it doesn't make any difference.

    I used to know dozens of people who listened to streaming web radio. Then, I showed them Kazaa, or they picked it up elsewhere, and now they don't. I'm sure there are web radio fans who have very legitimate reasons for prefering web radio to p2p - Kazaa does support streaming .mp3 play, which it calls "previewing", something one of the previous posters mentioned - but there aren't enough of them to keep web radio in business.

    I don't mean to plug Kazaa, I just felt I should be specific.
    • I'm sure there are web radio fans who have very legitimate reasons for prefering web radio to p2p

      (Raises hand) You don't have to pick the songs. I've got my favorite web radio stations (Smoothjazz.com being #1) setup to be accessed via a wireless controller. I push "Internet Radio", select a pre-set station, and it's streamed to my server and output into 3 different amps for listening anywhere in my house. Sure, I've got local playlists of all sorts of music (some downloaded, some copied off my own CDs) setup the same way, but I find that I listen to Internet radio much more frequently. I hear something new every time, instead of the same old playlist being repeated over and over again...

      I suppose if I had 100GB of MP3s I could have a couple thousand songs in every category and simulate my own Internet radio, but that would require a significant investment of time and money. So, I stick with what works for me. The best part is having guests over - we only have a couple of over the air stations worth listening to here, and nobody can figure out where I find these great radio stations. ;)
  • It's obviously time for an Internet-friendly Music company to start signing bands. Set up a server where all music from signed bands is available by paid subscription -- both as MP3's and streaming. There's enough hungry musicians out there that this must be possible.
    -russ
  • I think in 1990, Christian Slater starred in a movie called Pump Up The Volume, in which he portrayed "Happy Hardon Harry", an introverted geek-boy by day, but a sexually charged authority-fighting anarchistic pirate Radio personality by night.

    *SPOILER WARNING*

    The FCC was called in after Harry got a letter from a kid who claimed he wanted to commit suicide. Harry calls up the kid, and talks with him, but doesn't do anything to push the kid away from killing himself. So, immediately after the phone call, the kid puts a gun against his head and pulls the trigger.

    So parents of this small suburban community get in an uproar about this Hardon Harry character as he begins to expose the plots of a principal who is attempting to make her school the number one school by expelling all students with too low grades. The more he discovers, the more intent that the principal and faculty, as well as the parents and FCC, are on shutting down this pirate radio show and putting Harry in jail.

    Once he is caught though, he announces to the kids (who have decided that the suburban repression of will they've been filtered through isn't necessary and have revolted against it) to keep the air alive, and make it theirs. The final shot is with the sound of dozens upon dozens of kids with their own pirate radio stations, reclaiming the "air" as theirs, just as he is thrown into the paddy-wagon and taken away by the FCC-charged police.

    See the similarities? A friend of mine sets up a webcast so that we can listen to him spin some records from time to time, occasionally, when he has friends over, they have "geek-out music" sessions, where we get a whole bunch of music and just play around with it, and let our friends listen to it. Why? Why not!

    So where do we draw the line? This isn't at all publicly advertised, so how in god's name do they intend on regulating this? It's going to simply blow up into a couple billion people setting up their own webcasts... it's like me setting up an ftp server off my cable connection so that my friends can get ahold of my MP3s.

    Next thing you know, the companies will be forcing people to sign release forms every time they buy a CD making them promise they will never play these CDs for their friends, or loan out your tapes, DJs will have to pay royalties every time they play a club or whatever. I'll have to be charged a $5 cover every time I want to go over to a friend's house and play with his records. Soon, police will be handing out Copywrite-infringement violation tickets at house parties because the people throwing the party didn't secure the rights to the CDs.

    The companies are burying themselves. It's going to get to the point that you're going to buy a CD and you won't be able to listen to it anyways because you don't own the rights to the CD. Soon it's going to get to a point where nobody is going to buy CDs ever again because they can't do anything with it. So the music companies are looking at their own elimination. Good job. Keep up the good work.
    • So parents of this small suburban community get in an uproar about this Hardon Harry character as he begins to expose the plots of a principal who is attempting to make her school the number one school by expelling all students with too low grades. The more he discovers, the more intent that the principal and faculty, as well as the parents and FCC, are on shutting down this pirate radio show and putting Harry in jail.


      [snip]

      See the similarities? A friend of mine sets up a webcast so that we can listen to him spin some records from time to time, occasionally, when he has friends over, they have "geek-out music" sessions, where we get a whole bunch of music and just play around with it, and let our friends listen to it.

      No, I don't see the similarities. In your movie example (I haven't seen the movie), it sounds like the heroic character is acting as a reporter and broadcasting information of his own, his own voice and his own experssion. It is his. In your webcast, it sounds like you're spinning someone else's record. If your webcast is your voice broadcasting news that you have researched, your opinions, etc. then there's not a damned thing the RIAA can do about it, and you don't have to fill out any forms or pay anyone.

      • Actually, another big portion of the movie is him playing a lot of controversial banned music... another reason the FCC is trying to track him down.

        But moreso, the point here is that the reaction is the same... the more that they try to clamp down on something that is inevitable, the more it's going to sift right through their fingers.

        They can't clamp down on webcasts on the sole basis that they're too many and they're too small to be able to get them all. In an informational and technical sense, it's like trying to impose regulation on web pages. The point is that the more they use conventional means to find these sights, the more unconventional means the webcasters will use, and the less they'll be able to control.

        When they attack something that isn't centralised (like filesharing) all they serve is decentralisation of whatever it is they think they know. Look at Napster. Right after its uselessness was shown, there were a least half a dozen clones ready to take its place (Gnutella, Audiogalaxy, Limewire, Hotline, Kazaa, Morpheous, etc.)

        What happens when they clamp down on these ones?

        The thing is if they try to do it the same with webcasts, they're going to be insane if they think they can control them. All they'll result in shutting down major free webcasts is in spawning a lot more minor free webcasts that will be harder to combat.
  • by Erris (531066) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:51PM (#3041472) Homepage Journal
    Fine. Let the RIAA price their crap right off of the web. The last thing I want competing with pictures of my three month old daughter is a no save copy of a Lars drum lick. This will, hopefully, leave the big five music publishers further in the past and encourage more people to sign with independent studios and publishers like MP3.com sought to be. Let them rule their litle airwave monopolies, let their listnership decline to zero and let them all perish, but keep that shit off the web.
  • I don't know

    I have this half formed thought, something about the idiot need to kill the goose that lays the golden egg because they are such a glutton for goose.

    Some companies can be such idiots.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:58PM (#3041500) Homepage Journal
    It's happened: The buggy-whip makers have been put in charge of the auto industry. Piece by piece, at the bequest of the old-guard publishing industries, our courts and legislators are killing the Internet and the promise it held.

    Since 9/11, so many people have been quoting George Orwell's 1984. So for this circumstance, I'll have to choose a different quote from the same work, and adapt it:

    "If there is hope, it must come from South America and India". (Substitute for Orwell's proles)
  • by thumbtack (445103) <thumbtack@@@juno...com> on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @09:58PM (#3041504)
    This hits the college stations and non-profits the hardest. Where dwindling budgets and volunteer help is the norm, many will just say that's it and pull the plug....One college station I'm familiar with has an annual budget of $30,000 dollars, total. They struggle everyday just to get by, and saw the internet as a way they could save money over maintaining expensive transmitters.
    • If that college statement just broadcasts the same RIAA products as the megacorps themselves, then seriously, why should anyone give a damn whether they can afford this? Like the world really needs another radio station pushing Britney Spears and Limp Bizkit!

      If the people at that college station really have something to say, then none of this stuff affects them anyway, since they'll either be the copyright owners, or they'll have the neighborhood bands' permissions.

  • With all this crap to deal with, why not just listen to the good old analog radio?

    Or will the RIAA get the US govt to ban that as well (like the banning of analog TV broadcast after 2010 (??)) ?
  • Maybe artists will realize that the record companies are preventing them from being heard. I personally tend to listen to net radio an hour a day at least... I listen to the on-air radio, well, when my alarm goes off. :) People who are into music, that make music, also tend to listen to music. If you alienate them, maybe they won't want to sign your contracts.
  • by bugg_superstar (73615) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @10:13PM (#3041574) Homepage
    disclaimer: i edited the letter a bit for length. yes, i am a dj at the station. no, i'm not pimping us in any way ;-)

    So the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel released their recommendations for how radio stations should pay if they stream over the internet. the actual release is here (http://www.loc.gov/copyright/fedreg/2002/67fr5761 .pdf). Of course, it's a tough read, so I'll sum it up for you guys, and provide relevant links at the bottom. These rules are *proposed*, and haven't gone into effect yet.

    +per performance means "per song / per listener". That means every time one person hears one song, that's a performance. If 12 people listen to a webcast of 12 songs, that's 144 performances.

    +epheremal recording means a backup copy of the same song to be used for streaming.

    So according to these rules for webcasting, KBVR is a non-commercial broadcaster. We must pay $0.02 for every "performance". 9% of those performance fees will be added on as cost for an epheremal license fee.

    So yeah....doesn't sound too bad, does it? Just wait...

    Let's do a little math here. I'm assuming that 2.5% of the roughly 20,000 OSU students would listen to KBVR streaming over the internet. I don't even know the real number, so I'm just going to (hopefully) guess low. If any of you could give me better numbers, feel free.

    500 listeners x 24 hours/day x 10 "performances" an hour x $0.02 per "performance" ===> $2400 A DAY. That comes out to roughly $875,000 A YEAR if we could webcast under the new rules.

    For *each song* webcasted, KBVR would have to report the following information to the primary copyright holders (usually the record label, or to the individual band if you're cool like metallica and dr. dre):

    A) The name of the service
    B) The channel of the program (AM/FM stations use station ID)
    C) The type of program (archived/looped/live)
    D) Date of transmission
    E) Time of transmission
    F) Time zone of origination of transmission
    G) Numeric designation of the place of the sound recording within the program
    H) Duration of transmission (to nearest second)
    I) Sound recording title
    J) The ISRC code of the recording
    K) The release year of the album per copyright notice and in the case of compilation albums, the release year of the album and copyright date of the track
    L) Featured recording artist
    M) Retail album title
    N) The recording label
    O) The UPC code of the retail album
    P) The catalog number
    Q) The copyright owner information
    R) The musical genre of the channel or program (station format)

    That's for EACH SONG WEBCASTED.

    On top of that, we will have to provide the following information for *EVERY PERSON* who would listen to us over the internet:

    1) The name of the service or entity
    2) The channel or program
    3) The date and time that the user logged in (the user's timezone)
    4) The date and time that the user logged out (the user's timezone)
    5) The time zone where the signal was received (user)
    6) Unique user identifier
    7) The country in which the user received the transmissions

    These new proposed rules are pretty damn stupid. That's all I'm going to say.

    Thanks for your time...

    ~steve
    • Yeah, except you also made the same mistake I did. When I first read it, I thought it was two cents per performance also. However, upon closer inspection, it's actually only two tenths of a cent. That is more doable for us non-commercial stations, but it still is lame how me have to 1) buy the CD, then 2) pay a license to broadcast it, now 3) pay another license fee to netcast.
  • when they were choosing the acronym.

    Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel

    Guess it's better to be viewed as CARP than CRAP -- especially as Copyright Royalty Arbitration Panel makes a lot more syntactic sense (unless of course this panel is fully staffed by royalty :)

    (ObTrivia: Speaking of acronyms, there are persistent rumours that the MLC (Methodist Ladies' College) in Melbourne, Australia (I'm in Adelaide) was going to change its name to Fitchett Uniting College, Kew. Apparently this suggested name spent several years being batted around committees before someone noticed the obvious :)
    • Likewise, City University of Newcastle upon Tyne was seriously proposed as a name of a new university in Newcastle.

      Another was the company "Experts Exchange", who registered expertsexchange.com as their domain, much to the disappointment of any prospective transexuals who visited.

  • I just addressed and sent $0.02 to the address below. Also enclosed was a nicely worded note basically saying "No!"

    Copyright Royalty Arbitration Panel (CRAP), P.O. Box 70977, Southwest Station, Washington, DC 20024-0977.
  • And a listener's log listing: 1) The name of the service or entity 2) The channel or program 3) the date and time that the user logged in (the user's timezone) 4) the date and time that the user logged out (the user's timezone) 5) The time zone where the signal was received (user) 6) Unique User identifier 7) The country in which the user received the transmissions

    Don't most European countries already have internet privacy laws which protect users from many kinds of content logging?

  • Copyright is a government backed monopoly meant to stimulate creativity, right?

    So the RIAA is a big player, and now it's painting itself into a corner, creating a playing field where it's own chokehold on entertainment can drive the price of that entertainment high enough that, sooner or later, some other entity can enter and thrive by charging less (or nothing at all) for creative work that the RIAA has no rights to.

    It looks to me that the logical conclusion of this particular idiocy is certainly in line with the original purpose behind granting copyright in the first place. The market will shake down and the RIAA will have realized that it's shot itself in the foot and will either have to backpedal furiously to regain lost market share or it will find itself out of a job.
  • At first glance, this sounds really bad, but it might not be enough to put all college stations off the air.

    I run a small college station in Chicago with a school supplied budget of $4000/year. We scrape together a few other dollars, and the school does provide electricity and legal services for free, but it's still tight...

    What I'm guessing the licensing companies will try to do is going to look like this:

    $0.0002/per performance + $500 or 9% of the per performance cost, whichever is greater.

    I would use these numbers to estimate the per year performances for us:

    15 songs/hour * 30 people/song * 24 hours * 365 days * $0.0002 = $788.40

    If this were all, we might be able to scrape together the extra funds, however we would have to add $1500 to that cost ($500 minimum fee to each of the 3 licensing companies). That's what's going to hurt us. That doesn't even take into account trying to report all that information... We don't have to deal with nearly that much information even when we're in a reporting weekend!

    I contrast, we currently pay under $1000 per year for the licenses to play the music over the air.

    But, I suppose there's still hope.

    Patrick

  • Misinterpretation (Score:2, Informative)

    by dantonioJr (44459)
    The amount in the tables is 0.07 cents ($0.0007) and 0.14 ($0.0014) cents, not $0.07 and $0.14 as most posters read it. This doesn't necessarily invalidate all the comments about the expense, but it puts things in a bit different perspective.
  • by Krellan (107440)

    Well, that's it, folks. It's been nice having online radio while we could.

    With these new regs, it will be the death knell of webcasting. Expect Live365 to fold within a month once these new regs take effect. Nullsoft Shoutcast and Spinner will hold on a little longer, as they are subsidized by AOL, but it too will disappear. The smaller independent stations? *poof*, as another poster put it! Considering the new fees are retroactive to 1998, if I were an online broadcaster, I'd be scrambling to dismantle my setup before they find me and send me the bill!

    A shame this has to happen just when SSM [ietf.org], Source-Specific Multicast, was getting off the ground. Finally, an almost complete rearchitecturing of the failed Internet Multicast protocol. It addresses the two primary shortcomings of existing multicast -- address shortage and DoS attacks -- and looks like it actually could have worked.

    To anyone who's watched developments in online radio technology, SSM [cisco.com] is like nirvana. The Class D multicast address shortage is solved, by effectively using 64-bit addresses: a station's existing unicast IP address is simply concatenated with a multicast address in SSM's address range (232.x.x.x, equivalent to a big fat Class A!). And there's no central authority to go through, the station just simply chooses one of these address! This effectively gives the station the capability for 16 million channels (different SSM trees of listeners).

    That's right, it's finally a tree! The many-to-many multicast model has been replaced with one-to-many. Formerly, a rogue client could simply inject data into the stream, and that data would be replicated to all other listeners. Not good. Since SSM is a tree, with the originating station at the root, this problem is solved. It will become much more difficult to "jam" a SSM station (a router close to the source would have to be hacked). With these two main problems solved, Internet multicasting would finally be good to go...!

    It would have been a wonderful thing, had these new rules not been enacted. This new SSM protocol might have taken off, helping to alleviate the enourmous waste of bandwidth caused by having to repeatedly unicast the same stream to each individual listener.

    Possibly the only good thing that can come out of this is more exposure for unsigned garage bands. If SSM helps to reduce the bandwidth cost of streaming, and the garage band owns their own copyrights (not a member of ASCAP/BMI/SESAC/RIAA), then it might be affordable for them to broadcast online....

  • by Have Blue (616)
    If this actually goes anywhere, what will it do to Apple's plans to force the MPEG-4 consortium to loosen their licensing terms?
  • by Scoria (264473) <slashmail@@@initialized...org> on Thursday February 21, 2002 @12:49AM (#3042473) Homepage
    I pay you and my ISP exorbitant amounts of money (for licensing and bandwidth, respectively) so that I'm given the privilege of publicizing your artists.

    Not to mention, the "license to license" alone costs $500 yearly. The RIAA is manipulating our government so that they can prevent the general population from innovating, broadcasting, or even listening to stations not influenced by them. An example of these unfair regulations restricting the masses is a project of mine called laconica [sic] (it will soon have a web page further detailing it here [initialized.org]; initialized.org's development is behind schedule). Conceptually, it allows the listeners to control the stream by vote, comment on the music, create their own playlists (if the playlist is voted high enough, it begins streaming the next hour), and even upload their own music.

    Considering the fact that initialized is not for profit and we'd still pay for bandwidth by the gigabyte *after* the RIAA fees, our own laconica stream will most likely fail to become a reality. (We still plan to continue developing and release the software as open source, though.)
  • I see lots of people pointing out why this isn't fair or just won't work. Well, there is a comment period here, so file comments. No, I'm not niave enough to think that this will get turned around because of a few comments, but what these comments will do is lay the supporting groundwork for the inevitable lawsuits that will follow the implementation of the rules. What these suits will allege is that these rules are impossible to follow and/or that they are crafted to force Webcasters off the air. So if you believe that, file a comment. Take the rules, one by one, and explain the problem with each of them. No opinions, just facts. If you believe that the rules are impossible to implement, lay out the reasons. If you think they are financially destructive, use hard numbers. If you want to argue that the rules go above and beyond what the underlying law requires, spell it out, point for point. Remember, there will be lawsuits over this, and these comments will be used in court.

  • In reading a section of the copyright law (17 U.S.C Section 114) there is a provision that would seem to exempt educational stations & public broadcasting stations from these fees.

    "The exclusive rights of the owner of copyright in a sound recording under clauses (1), (2), and (3) of section 106 do not apply to sound recordings included in educational television and radio programs (as defined in section 397 of title 47) distributed or transmitted by or through public broadcasting entities (as defined by section 118(g)): Provided, That copies or phonorecords of said programs are not commercially distributed by or through public broadcasting entities to the general public."

    http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17/92chap1.htm l# 114

    It still doesn't help other stations, but at least it's a start..

  • Q. So the end result of this regulation will be?

    A. The next generation of "radio" (broadband wireless webcasting) playing nothing but independant bands and singers without recording contacts.

    Q. And the result of THIS?

    A. The RIAA will slowly and painfull starve to death and go out of business as it's bands become relgated into obscurity.

    There was a great story I was told when I was akid about King Midas who loved gold. He loved it so much that he was granted his one and only wish, that everything he touched would turn to gold... He had a wonderful time turning things into gold, but when dinner time cam around, he suddenly discovered that he couldn't eat without turning the food to gold. He couldn't eat, he couldn't drink, and even his own beautiful daughter was turned to gold.

    If the RIAA members were human beings, you know the kind with mothers and fathers, not the kind decanted in tubes, they would have been told this story as children. They would realize that the stronger thier grip on the music, the more they lose it. The crueler they are to thier arch-nemisis, thier customers, the poorer they will be.

    Cheer on legislation like this! This is the beginning of the end for them.
  • If this law is passed, doesn't this mean that if I, Joe Average, mix up a couple of tracks and find some webcasters playing my tracks, that I can extract money from them?

    How do I go about doing that, and if the state is deputizing the RIAA to be their tax-collectors (conveniently only collecting taxes for their clients), then this really stinks.

    What this should mean is that artists would be able to release music independently from any specific label and get paid if their material is played.

    Personally, I think that if this law to to be fairly and equitably applied to the majority of the copyright-holders in the country, then some type of government-funded independent registry should be maintained where artists interested in deriving income from webcasted tracks must register them with at no charge.

    A percentage of the money could be taken by the governement to cover the costs of running the registry.

    Radio stations would then check the single, unified list, and credit the appropriate account.

    Yes, it could be a goddamn big list, but thats the price you pay for a fair and just law.

    Payments would be held by the government for the period that copyright lasts (however long that might be), and the artist, upon providing appropriate identification, could collect the money.

    This would not preclude the RIAA from extracting revenue from their artists web-play, but would help to ensure that all copyright-holders, not just those financed by the RIAA to benefit.

    I mean, how is this supposed to work otherwise?

    Am I, a guy with not much more than a guitar to his name, going to be able to afford a lawyer to sue the radio stations? Thats ridiculous.

    This law promotes the efforts of a tiny percentage of copyright-holders and does nothing to promote the creation of new works (unless they are on RIAA labels).

    Is this governement by the people, for the people?

    Because it sounds like government by the RIAA for the RIAA.

  • I mean, there's a lot of music that is not under control of the big labels, some of it even entirely free like some of the "Open Music" project, but maybe also local Bands you can work out a special contract for (many will be happy for the promotion). Yeah, it's not Britney Spears, and it takes some research to get what you want (you can't play the Hitlists). Also it obviously wouldn't work for any station to compose their entire program out of it, but it would help nevertheless, even if it makes up only part of the program. Also it would create a way for Artists to get known without becoming a slave of the RIAA.

    I can see some advantages of this system for the price of a little work (finding music of that kind, but once that is done you could exchange information with others who did similar work), the main one being, to take some power out of the hands of the big lables by creating alternative ways for artists and their audience to find each other. And as a nice side effect the station can reduce some costs.

    So what am i missing?
    --
  • If this has the effect the RIAA wants then I say fine.* If the RIAA kills NetStations I won't have any easy way to hear music without buying it first (which is what they want), or jumping through the hoops of finding a song on IRC or OpenNap. When that happens I'm going Southeast Asia on the RIAA. Yes, I will run a pirating ring in my spare time. I'm fucking fed up with the bullshit they feed us. If they're going to take the law into their own hands so will I. And if by some odd chance KNAC.com or SnakeNet Metal Radio go down then it's full out war.

    How much damage can I do to the RIAA before getting caught is the real question. One person may not make the RIAA notice, but imagine how much pirated music you could give away to a campus full of college aged kids. Let's see...
    100 CD-R's == $30
    1 CD-R MP3's ~~ 100 songs || 10 Albums
    So with $30 and some time I can seed quite a number of people with quite a few MP3's. The only restriction? Share the music with others.
  • It's the Copyright Royalty Arbitration Panel.

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