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ARSCLIST  July 2007

ARSCLIST July 2007

Subject:

Urgent Message From SaveNetRadio

From:

Dismuke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 12 Jul 2007 11:09:41 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (217 lines)

Below is an email I just sent out to Radio Dismuke's
mailing list (if you want on the list for updates
about the station and the royalty situation, you can
sign up on my website at www.RadioDismuke.com
)regarding urgent action that is very much needed on
the part of those who value and support Internet
radio.

- - - - - - - -

At the end of this email is an URGENT message that the
SaveNetRadio.org has put out and which I support.
This Sunday, July 15 is the day that the new royalty
rates become due retroactively and will drive most
webcasters into bankruptcy.

Not only are the per-song per-listener rates
themselves very high, on top of them are a $500 per
channel "administration" fee that will be ruinous for
my service providers Live 365 which hosts around ten
thousand channels and LoudCity which hosts around five
hundred. All of these fees are retroactive to January
2006. In the case of Live 365, it means that on July
15 they will immediately be in the hole for about $5
million just for one year's "administration fees"
alone. Live 365 was founded a few years ago during
the dot.com boom and only turned its first profit ever
last year - and that profit was only a few thousand
dollars. Live 365 simply does not have millions of
dollar to fork over.

LoudCity is in a similar situation. Not only will
they owe about $250,000 in "administration" fees, they
will be force to pay per song per listener rates for
all of 2006 a year that they had every reason to
believe would have been charged on a similar basis as
the old royalty rates with perhaps a reasonable
increase. For them, their SoundExchange royalties
under the old rates would have been capped at $2,000.
Their royalty bill from my stream alone is now going
to cost them well in excess of $2,000 and, when one
multiplies that by 500 stations, the bill will have
RETROACTIVELY jumped from around $2,000 to into the
HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars. Based on my
knowledge of the rates they charge their customers, my
guess is that LoudCity took in CONSIDERABLY less than
$180,000 in TOTAL revenues last year - not even enough
to pay the "administration fees" which are being
retroactively applied to them.

As I have explained in previous emails, this is all
part of an effort of the RIAA to effectively take over
Internet radio by killing off the existing players so
that the major labels can sign "sweetheart deals" with
hand picked webcasters who will be charged less than
the statutory royalty rates in exchange for playing
the lowest common denominator mass market recordings
currently found on FM radio and from which the four
major RIAA labels derive most of their revenue. This
is nothing more than a disgusting effort to use a very
flawed law that the RIAA lobbied for in order to kill
off emerging competitors (independent artists and
niche genres which, thanks to Internet radio, were
able to receive radio air play for the first time
ever) in order to prop up their technologically
obsolete business models.

As of right now, both of my service providers, Live
365 and LoudCity have said that they DO plan on
remaining on the air after the July 15 deadline
passes. From what I gather, the attitude that both
will be taking is that, since they will ALREADY be
effectively bankrupt as of July 15, they have
absolutely nothing to lose that they haven't already
lost and will keep broadcasting while attempting to
fight it out in court until they receive a court order
that forces them to shut down. I have no way of
knowing for sure how long such a process will take -
but so long as they are fighting this, I will continue
to provide them my streams of 1920s and 1930s popular
music and jazz. Other webcasters, for a variety of
reasons, are not quite as gutsy as Live 365 and
LoudCity in this regard and plan to go out of business
as of July 15. When that happens, a MONSTROUS
injustice will have taken place - and many will lose
their businesses, their incomes and, in some cases,
even their homes. The ONLY thing that webcasters are
"guilty" of is playing music and artists that the RIAA
labels would prefer that you not be aware of on
grounds that it might diminish interest in the artists
and music that they want you to be listening to and
purchasing.

The recent Day of Silence was EXTREMELY successful in
terms of the number of people that contacted Congress.
 Congressional switchboards and faxes were jammed from
the very large number of calls from the hundreds of
thousands of concerned Internet radio listeners who
called in. Unfortunately, the RIAA is a VERY
powerful organization with LOTS of political pull and
many bought and paid for politicians in both houses of
Congress. At last count 127 members of the House have
agreed to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act
which would set Internet radio royalty rates on par
with those charged satellite radio and resolve the
whole situation. There IS a significant amount of
support for our cause in Congress. But, in order for
it to do any good, the bill has to come to the floor
for a vote. That can be a very difficult thing as it
is not hard for opponents of a bill to kill it off in
committee. That has essentially what has been
happening since the otherwise successful Day of
Silence.

Another factor is that SoundExchange, the royalty
collection organization founded and controlled by the
RIAA is sending out very false and misleading
information to members of Congress - most of whom are
NOT scholars in the complicated issue of copyrights
and royalties. For example, the head of SoundExchange
yesterday distributed an email to members of Congress
suggesting that it has offered to cap the $500 minimum
fee to $2,500 per service provider. That is VERY
misleading. The offer on the part of SoundExchange to
cap the fee was ONLY good through 2008 AND required
webcasters to agree to give up all future efforts to
lobby Congress for changes in the law. No webcaster
in his right mind would agree to such a thing - and,
in the long run, what good is it to effectively AGREE
to go out of business in two years and voluntarily
forfeit one's right to petition Congress for redress
of grievances? The ONLY reason that SoundExchange
made such a bizarre offer in the first place was to
provide window dressing so that it could tell Congress
that it was "working" with webcasters and that it is
the webcasters who have turned down their alleged
offers of benevolence. This is the nature of the
sort of organization that webcasters are up against -
and, as of right now, it is very close to achieving
its goal of shutting down all Internet radio except
for a handful of RIAA sanctioned operators.

SaveNetRadio is requesting people to IMMEDIATELY
contact ALL of their Senators and Congresspersons
TODAY and urge them to support the Internet Radio
Equality Act and to bring it up for a floor vote
IMMEDIATELY. They are asking Internet radio fans and
supporters to not quit until they feel that they got
their message across very clearly. If your
representative has already co-sponsored the bill,
please thank them for their support and ask them to
please push for the bill to be put up to a floor vote
now BEFORE the July 15 deadline goes into effect. If
you have already contacted your representatives in
support of this issue - you have my profound
gratitude. If it is all possible, please do so AGAIN
in order to stress the importance of bringing the
issue to a floor vote.

Here is where you can go to look up the name and
contact information for your Congressperson and
Senator:

http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/alert_9738601.html

Your support on this is appreciated not only by me but
by may many, many listeners who depend on Internet
radio in order to hear the music that they love -
music that is NOT available on FM radio and will NOT
be available on the Internet for much longer if the
RIAA achieves its goal of transforming the Internet
into a carbon copy of FM.

Below is the plea from SaveNetRadio.org

- - - - -

URGENT URGENT URGENT
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED FOR THURSDAY, JULY 12TH

Time and options are running out for Internet Radio.
Late yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals DENIED the
emergency stay sought on behalf of webcasters,
millions of listeners and the artists and music they
support.

UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS BY JULY 15th, it is the end of
the road for Internet radio.

We are appealing to the millions of Internet radio
listeners out there, the webcasters they support and
the artists and labels we treasure to rise up and make
your voices heard before this vibrant medium is
silenced.

This situation is grave, but that makes the message
all the simpler and most serious. CALL YOUR SENATORS
AND REPRESENTATIVES RIGHT AWAY and urge them to
support the "Internet Radio Equality Act." If they've
already co-sponsored, thank them and tell them to
fight to bring it to the floor for an immediate vote.
If the line is busy, call back. Call until you know
your voice has been heard. Your voices are what have
gotten us this far -- Congress has listened. Now, they
are our only hope.

TELL THEM.

We are outmatched by lobbying power and money but we
are NOT outmatched by facts and passion and the power
of our voices.

===============
The exact page of the SaveNetRadio.org website that
allows you to look up Congressional office phone
numbers is here: http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/alert_9738601.html

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