Dismuke <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
***Personally, I don't believe in statutory rates.
I do believe in them. I am most familiar with paying for a mechanical license. Having a statutory rate makes budget projects possible. Also, as you point out, negotiating for every license would be an administrative nightmare. However, in some instances I have done so. I have also taken the time to obtain a waiver of fees. But that has been for a CD release, and not anywhere near the quantity required by the demands of providing a stream of broadcasting. I still remember the trouble I had tracking down the estate of one composer...and I still can't find a contact for another...foolishly I spent the time to record the music and now I can't release it!
***I also think a copyright holder has a right to forbid those he does
not want to use his product from broadcasting it. Radio stations, Internet and otherwise, do NOT, in my opinion, have an inherent RIGHT to use other people's intellectual property.
Not sure I would understand why. Is it one of context? While most composers delight in the thought that anyone plays their music, I was always concerned that those who performed my music got it "right." I remember being at one performance (I was not invited to rehearsals) where my music was butchered. I was embarassed to think that someone in the audience thought I was responsible for what was played!
With my record company we have been approached with requests to license selections from our discs. I guess I would be reluctant to agree to a license without knowing the context...for example, if someone wanted to do an anthology of bad performances and thought something from our label would be included.
I guess I can see control for the purpose of context, but I don't understand why a label should have control over whether or not their recordings are broadcast.
***The time and hassle of contacting hundreds of copyright holders individually is daunting and very expensive. This is especially true given
that some musical acts might have broken up and some artists might have died with their estates beingeither uncertain or in dispute. Such problems are why performance rights organizations exist in the first place. Performance rights organizations are a CRUCIAL necessity for both owners AND users of intellectual property.
Agreed about the hassle factor. Yet I also would make the comparison to the notion of orphan works. As I reflect on this a bit, it would seem that with the nature of the copyrights on recordings...until 2067...we have the potential of creating a nightmare when it comes to the location of owners.
***It is simply not possible for Internet broadcasters
who are on the air TODAY to deal with performance
rights organization alternatives which MIGHT come into
existence in the FUTURE. At present, they have NO
VIABLE ALTERNATIVE but to either license through
SoundExchange at statutory rates OR go off the air.
The alternative you suggest on the URL below sounds reasonable to me. Is there anyway to share this idea with broadcasters or someone in Congress?
***And to license through SoundExchange means that one
has to pay the EXACT SAME PRICE for an obscure
recording by an artist or a niche genre as one would
pay for a major mass market hit. The way the
statutory rates are set up, at present, the ONLY
recordings that would be commercially viable to stream
are the mass market hits of the RIAA labels.
While I would need to think about that for a bit, it would seem that you are correct, but then that is true for a mechanical license as well. Yet I have paid the same rate for an obscure composer that I have paid for a famous composer...and lost money on the obscure composer...but that won't stop me from doing it again...but as I was reviewing the finances this weekend, I don't know how often I could continue to make such decisions...keeping in mind that my company is a 501 c 3.
***Why would one pay .019 cents per-song
per-listener for a recording that nobody has ever
heard of when it is already very difficult to break
even playing hits to a mass audience at such a rate?
While I think I see your point, I do wonder if there is not a niche market for the stuff nobody has ever heard, but, as you suggest, the cost of doing business to be such that it forces you to compete with the big players in the business. So, if music is nothing more than a business (I am playing devil's advocate here), if it is not economically viable, it probably shouldn't be done.
I guess my point is that the musical have nots, should pool their resources and support an alternative, perhaps that which you have suggested.
Ultimately I don't know where musicians can expect to make their money, or how they can get the exposure.
***I have posted on how a free market alternative to
performance royalties might work on my blog at:
It seems like you have concept that has some potential. Is there a forum where this could be shared where a consensus could be developed and promulgated to those who are empowered to make change?