--- Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Not at all, you are missing the point. Anybody can
> negotiate a totally appropriate deal with
> SoundExchange. 

I don't believe that is true. If I am not mistaken, I
believe that any sort of negotiation with
SoundExchange has to be cleared through either the CRB
judges or ratified with Congress.   SoundExchange does
NOT set the rates.  The CRB does (though, it, in fact,
handed down more or less exactly what SoundExchange
had asked for).   

Now, I do recall reading something a while back that
suggested that SoundExchange MIGHT be able to
negotiate on behalf of those copyright holders that
are MEMBERS of SoundExchange.  But not all of the
copyright holders SoundExchange collects royalties for
are SoundExchange members.  

SoundExchange collects royalties on ALL performances
of copyrighted sound recordings even if a given
copyright holder HATES SoundExchange and wants nothing
to do with it.  My understanding is that the only way
to stop SoundExchange from collecting the royalty for
a copyright holder if each and every broadcaster
playing that copyright holder's work has a specific
direct licensing agreement.  I am about 99.95% sure
that SoundExchange does NOT have the authority to
negotiate on behalf of copyright holders who are NOT
members UNLESS it is cleared by the CRB or Congress.

But even if I am wrong on this - my point still
stands.  SoundExchange is controlled by and clearly
acts in the interests of the RIAA - and yet you are
suggesting that it is totally ok that it be in a
position to negotiate the rates webcasters must pay to
use the recordings of the RIAA's COMPETITION?  You are
telling me that you don't see a problem with that?   

I am afraid that is no different than being forced to
negotiate the prices you will pay for groceries at the
little family owned supermarket at the end of your
street through some  puppet organization controlled by
Wal-mart, Kroger and Safeway.  Obviously, the outcome
of such a negotiation is not going to be in either
your favor or the favor of the family owned

> Yes, SoundExcahnge theoretically could force all
> webcasters to pay the statuatory rate but why on
> Earth would they want to do something that stupid?

Well..... uhhmmmm.... how about to prevent independent
labels and artists from being brought to the public's
attention through Internet airplay?  How about
depriving artists access to a rapidly growing medium
where the RIAA labels do NOT serve as gatekeepers and
a medium that might very well someday put the artists
in a position to go into direct competition with the
labels themselves?

Let's see....SoundExchange was founded by the RIAA and
was once an RIAA division.  Most of its board members
are either RIAA types, representatives of major
labels, the musicians union and others who were hand
picked based on loyalty to the RIAA labels.  Most of
the top people who work at SoundExchange, including
its President, are former RIAA people.  One of the
SoundExchange negotiators is an RIAA lawyer.  When
negotiations come up on matters that have positive
implications for RIAA competitors and negative
implications for the RIAA labels - well, exactly where
do you think the sympathies and loyalties of
SoundExchange are going to be?

I am afraid, Bob, that your posting has just made my
case far more eloquently than even I have! Congratulations!