--- "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>
> To RIAA, each listener to an Internet-radio blues
> program is a
> potential customer who, had not the net program been
> would have purchased a vast number of current hip
> hop hit CD's!
This is very close to the mark.
The ONLY relevance the RIAA labels have left in
today's digital, Internet dominated world is their
ability to promote their recordings and artists via FM
air play. Thanks to today's technology, artists no
longer need a major record label in order produce and
distribute recordings - there are plenty of ever
increasingly affordable alternatives open to them.
But to the degree that top selling recordings continue
to be promoted by means of FM airplay, artists need
the very one sided contract with a major label if they
strive to become famous as opposed to merely making a
living with their music.
Internet radio threatens all this as it is very much
on the verge of replacing FM as the venue in which
people discover new music. And, unlike FM, Internet
radio has no limitations on how many stations can
exist and is global in terms of its audience reach.
Unlike FM, the RIAA labels have no special advantage
over Independents when it comes to getting airplay on
the Internet. Even in their glory days, the major
labels did not have pockets so deep as to be a able to
spread payola and marketing clout around to countless
thousands of Internet stations with relatively small
When venues such as Internet radio and myspace become
viable alternatives for those musicians who strive to
become famous - well, it will no longer be necessary
for them to sign one-sided contracts with major record
labels. It will make more sense for them to remain
independent and thereby retain ownership and control
over their music - and to keep any profits generated
from it for themselves.
THAT is why the RIAA and its puppets at SoundExchange
are so desperately trying to kill off Internet radio.
It is not so much that the RIAA is concerned that
current Internet radio blues listeners might not be
buying hip-hop. They know that's not likely to
happen. What they are concerned with is the prospect
of hip-hop listeners and all of the sheep out there
who have little, if any, awareness of music outside of
what is spoon-fed to them over FM might suddenly
discover that genres such as blues, ragtime, jazz,
dance bands exist and are pretty fun to listen to.
Even more so, they are terrified that such listeners
might discover and embrace all of the many talented
independent artists out there in the major popular
I have no problem with Internet radio stations paying
royalties. That's not what this is about. A rational
system of royalties is NOT one which will, from the
very get-go, bankrupt the entities which are supposed
to be paying the royalties. The purpose of the new
royalty scheme as well as the scheme that the RIAA
backed last time around is to DESTROY Internet radio
and NOT to generate a viable stream of revenue from it
for copyright owners. Keep in mind that independent
artists are just as much legitimate copyright owners
as are the major RIAA labels - and this royalty scheme
will destroy the only viable means of air play that
such artists and copyright owners have open to them.
Internet radio is one of the most exciting
developments during my lifetime. Obscure and
forgotten genres finally have an opportunity to make
themselves available to anyone who cares to discover
them and to earn the sort of appreciative, modern
audiences they deserve. Before the Internet, if a
person wished to listen to, let's say popular music
from the early 1900s he either needed to acquire his
own vintage music collection (something which very few
people who are unfamiliar with the genre are likely to
do) or be fortunate enough to live in one of a VERY
small handful of markets where a station MIGHT have
had a few hour per week program that MIGHT play such
music. Now all one has to do is tune into Radio
Dismuke which plays jazz and pop from the 1920s and
1930s. Or one can tune into Wiemar Rundfunk and
listen to the same sort of music from places such as
Poland, Germany, France, Holland and other countries
in Europe. Or one can listen to Elite Syncopations
which specializes in ragtime.
The RIAA seeks to destroy all that. Don't let those
bastards get away with it. They are nothing more than
the modern day equivalent of the buggy whip
manufacturer - and I am looking forward to them
eventually meeting the exact same fate.
Radio Dismuke, by the way, will also be joining the
many thousands of other Internet radio station in the
upcoming Day of Silence.