----- Original Message -----
From: "Dismuke" <[log in to unmask]>
> I just stumbled across the following on Wired.com
> This is the first attempt I am aware of to set up a
> PRO outside of SoundExchange where webcasters can
> license music on a wholesale basis.
> Unfortunately, it does not do existing webcasters any
> good in terms of the present crisis unless they happen
> to have a polka format. And the only copyright
> holders it serves are those who issue polka
> recordings. Also, it only enables copyright holders
> to allow webcasters to play their recordings for free.
> It it is not set up for copyright holders who wish to
> make money off their recordings but at more reasonable
> rates than the statutory rate.
> Such an approach IS a valid alternative, in my
> opinion, to statutory licensing. It is certainly a
> step in a better, more free market oriented approach
> to the matter But, as I mentioned, it does NOT do the
> vast majority of current webcasters any good at all -
> and it certainly will not do them any good in the
> future if they are forced out of business in the next
> few weeks or months if the CRB rates go into effect.
> If I am forced to leave my current service providers
> and go on my own using 78 rpms with just an ASCAP
> license, I will eventually be contacting labels which
> reissue vintage music asking for a direct license. In
> doing so, I might sound them out and see if they would
> be interested in participating in a similar service so
> that other vintage oriented broadcasters can also give
> them airplay. I'd have to check with that polka
> organization just how much work, time and money is
> involved in it.
Does this refer to people/firms who are CURRENTLY issuing newly-
recorded polka recordings? Does it also apply to people/firms who
are REISSUING collections of past polka recordings...and, if so,
how does it avoid problems concerning the fact that EVERY sound
recording ever "fixed" in the US of A is either under copyright or
protected via arcane state anti-piracy statuates?
Note that the actual copyrights on the MUSIC involved DO have legally-
fixed terms, unlike the "eternity + 1" term for sound recording copyrights
(until 2067, if life on the planet actually LASTS that long...?!).
Finally, whom...exactly...is demanding tribute? RIAA, and thus the various
firms who own the copyright to the recordings in question...ASCAP/BMI, who
normally collect only royalties for "public performances" of songs which
are registered with them (i.e. most establishments that feature live
performances of such tunes...IIRC, providing there is an admission
charge above a stated minimum)...or publishers (usually via the HFA or
CMRRA...) who can collect royalties on material which is "fixed" to
a sound recording...!
Performing-rights agencies, AFAIK, have never been involved with collecting
payment for songs written/arranged by their members...usually collecting
flat fees from venues which (in theory, anyway...) make a profit through
public performances of songs registered therewith. If "radio stations"...
digital, terrestrial, or both...are now being treated as "public erformances"
(which, in a sense, they ARE...!)...then an entirely new set of rulebooks
will have to be created...quite probably also including the redefinition,
via legal "precedents," of how such obligations can, or will, be defined...
as well as "who owes whom what...?!"
And, of course, the "next question" will have to be: "Will the aforementioned
organizations divide the payments thus collected among their membership...or
do they intend to (1) keep it all or (2) pass it to the major record firms...?!"
Sadly, 19th/Early 20th century rules and legislation are VERY difficult to
apply to an "XXI Jahrhundert" world of digital music...in which recorded
music was (after WWII, anyway) provided free of charge to terrestrial radio
stations, since it was an established fact that when sound recordings were
made available via radio, their sales increased substantially!
Further...ALSO keep in mind that pop-music sound recordings have, from the
"git-go," been conceived as short-lived product, with definite "Best Before"
dates and effective uselessness thereafter...! After all, last year's pop
record was considered to be about as useful as yesterday's newspaper...!
Never mind that I own about 50,000 (give/take) of the dommed things...
Steven C. Barr