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May 2007 09

More RIAA Thuggery

Rants! Riaa

I maintain that the RIAA are a bunch of thugs and bullies with nothing better to do than harass not only you the consumer, but the artists themselves by using litigious threats and terrorist tactics to get their way. I ask you, is it possible for the RIAA to display more greed or avarice without actually hiring Satan as its general counsel?

The RIAA is known for alienating it's fans by over charging, completely failing to embrace any semblance of new technology and then sues anyone who tries to give music fans what they want.

The "Recording Industry Artists Association" (RIAA) has not one damn thing to do with the artists. And now, as a thank you to the artists that made the RIAA what it is, the RIAA is making moves to reduce artist royalty payments.

The RIAA is burning the candle at both ends. They are pissing off consumers, and pissing on the artists they supposedly support. It really does seem like every decision they make has something to do with the limiting of the exposure of the music that artists create. This is contrary to anything that an artist would want, but then the simple fact of the matter is the RIAA has NOTHING to do with artists.

The latest in a long line of unbelievable bullshit that they are actually getting away with is the decision that was pushed through in March by the United States Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which will make all webcasting royalties going forward, AND dating back to 2006 so expensive as to make any kind of legal streaming station completely unfeasible.

This is an attempt by the RIAA to kill any and all streaming music on the internet, further limiting exposure of their clients content.

Digitally Imported Radio (http://di.fm) one of my favorite stations which I happily pay a fee to has stated; * The new fees, making us owe literally more than two million dollars due July 15th, do not take any realistic business model of a service such as ours and most others on the web into account. The short story translation is that Digitally Imported the company already owes just for 2006 many many times more in royalty fees than all combined revenue generated. * Imagine a picture similar to if for every $1 we earn before even any expenses, we actually owe about $5 in royalty fees. * This situation spells doom for webcasting on the Internet, and many services such as Digitally Imported Radio will be forced to stop all public webcasting, switch to subscriptions only, or SHUT DOWN ENTIRELY - WITHIN MONTHS, IF NOT WEEKS! What?! God damn it! I actually like di.fm.. I think they are great! I can tell you right now my productivity at work will slip if my music goes away, but thats another story..

You may be saying, "Well the CRB isn't the RIAA".. True, however the it was the RIAA's idea. The whole thing got pushed through by SoundExchange which is a non-profit organization originally created and puppetted by the RIAA.

Basically what they have done is passed a law that states that any web broadcasting business is not taxed on the amount of people that actually make a purchase, but rather they're taxed on every person that happens to listen to the stream at all.

Imagine if you will, that your favorite FM radio station incurred a fee every time someone channel surfed by their station. Oh you heard a 3 second clip of XYZ song, pay us $1. Yes it's that bad.

This crap forces the small law abiding independent webcasters to switch to the dark side, and become illegal if they want to stay in any kind of business. Suddenly they have to leave the US to continue their business. In most cases this wont work either as there are legal precedents that have established that as long as the listener is in the US, they are still liable. And affordable high capacity bandwidth in the US also make moving to another country highly unlikely..

Something to think about:

Terrestrial AM/FM radio stations in the US pay nothing for recording industry royalties due to a law made in consideration of promotion value that playing provides in return.

Satellite Radio services have to pay 7.5% of revenue - which I think is a bit high, but I understand the reason since its a subscriber system anyway - there typically isn't a "free" satellite station.

The new law makes webcasters have to pay any where from 100% to 500% of revenue.

Artists, you MUST distance yourself from the RIAA. They do not have your interests at heart. Their goal is simply self service, and this latest move is a completely blatant attack on your musics exposure. Next the RIAA will be suing the content creators (artists).

The RIAA - Text book example of what NOT to do to your customers or supporters.

This bill gets pushed through July 15, 2007. In my mind, it will forever be known as the Day the Music Dies, unless...

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