Message boards are active! See primary link above or topic-specific links in left-hand menu.
New: "Press room" summary of the story (revised draft 3/12/02).
Also see new links in "News coverage" section and "How you can help" links at left
Coming soon: Banners and MP3s for use by Webcasters
America's fledgling Internet radio industry continues to react in shock to the recent Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel ("CARP") decision that Webcasters should pay "performance rights" fees to record labels that are so high that they are currently more than 100% of most Webcasters' gross revenues!
The royalty rates are perceived by most observers as so high that they will effectively kill Internet radio as an industry if they're accepted by the U.S. Copyright Office. (The Copyright Office will decide whether to accept, reject or modify the rates and terms set forth in the report within the next 75 days.)
The purpose of this website is to help concerned individuals have a voice in trying to encourage the U.S. Copyright Office to reject the CARP recommendation or Congress to amend the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) in time to prevent the industry from being effectively shut down.
COMING NEXT: What are the best arguments to present to the U.S. Copyright Office (and/or Congress) to encourage them to reject or revise the proposed CARP royalty rates?
Good background material: http://www.educause.edu/issues/dmca.html
INTERESTING QUESTION: Could Spinner buy 120 small AM radio stations and by doing so cut their license fees in half?
Letters from Webcasters to Congressmen (at Congress.org):
From CelticGrove.com to Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) here
From Tammi Franke of Kima to Sentator Richard Durbin (R-IL) here (based on Radio Paradise letter)
From a 3WK listener to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) here (based on 3WK letter)
Find and contact local and national media using this guide from Congress.org.
What's wrong with broadcast radio?
Independent record promotion within Radio One -- L.A. Times story here
Nice interview from RadioWorld with Susequehanna's Dan Halyburton here
And with Cox's Gregg Lindahl here
RadioWorld background article on digital broadcast radio (IBOC) here
Great piece from Tennesseean (2/3/02) on Sound Exchange here. (ASCAP-BMI-SESAC distribute $1 billion/year!)
The current Copyright Office response to e-mails from concerned citizens:
Subj: Re: Please don't kill the Internet!
Date: 3/7/02 3:19:16 PM US Eastern Standard Time
From: email@example.com (Copyright Information)
To: GTORadio@aol.com We are responding to your recent communication regarding the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel ("CARP") report delivered on February 20, 2002. That report recommends rates and terms for the statutory license for eligible nonsubscription services to perform sound recordings publicly by means of digital audio transmissions ("webcasting") under 17 U.S.C. §114 and to make ephemeral recordings of sound recordings for use of sound recordings under the statutory license set forth in 17 U.S.C. §112.
The proposed rates and terms for webcasters operating under a statutory license announced on February 20, 2002, are the recommendations made by a panel of three independent arbitrators. The Panel made its recommendations after a six-month hearing. During this period, webcasters, broadcasters and copyright owners offered evidence for what the appropriate rates and terms should be for the public performance of a sound recording over the Internet. At the conclusion of this process, the Panel submitted its recommendations and a report explaining its rationale for the recommendations to the Copyright Office. The public version of the panel's report has been posted to the Copyright Office website.
The panel's recommendations are now being reviewed.
Under the law, only parties to the proceeding may request that the panel's
recommendations be modified or set aside. These comments will be carefully
considered during the review process. There is, however, no provision
in the law for comments from the general public. A final determination
as to the rates and terms will be made when the review process is completed.
"I read the summary which says that artists
need to be compensated because permanent digital copies are involved.
What this idea totally ignores is that the sound quality of 95% of streams
because of bandwidth limitation is far inferior to the original CD and
is in no real sense a competitive copy that anyone would want to listen
to other than as a broadcast stream. They are out to get what they can.
If they were genuinely concerned about competition with CD sales, they
would have limited the levy to streams exceeding 64kbps which can reasonably
compete with CD sound quality and they would have billed over the air
FM stations because they can be input to a computer sound card to generate
a much better quality digital file than almost all current streams available."
-- Tony Carlson, Berkeley, CA (in Save-Our-Streams message board here)
All materials excerpted above are property of their respective copyright owners, with our excerpting thereof intended to be in a manner consistent with "fair use" doctrine.