This may stretch your definition of “good news” for webcasters, but the latest on the Internet Radio crisis runs something like this:
Webcasters don’t yet have to pay new fees for their broadcast. But they’re still accruing debt — fast. Sort of like our credit card debt.
Webcasters may get a small break on the minimum fee, one that could literally have shut down “personalized” radio services. SoundExchange explains the deal thusly:
Under the new proposal, to be implemented by remand to the CRJs, SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for webcasters who agree to provide more detailed reporting of the music that they play and work to stop users from engaging in “streamripping” – turning Internet radio performances into a digital music library.
Note the big attached “ifs”, which are vaguely worded in the official SoundExchange announcement, and sound all the more threatening given, according to SoundExchange, the previous rates are already in effect. Whichever side you’re on here, you have to give SoundExchange some credit for, erm, negotiating skill. “Hey, so while you’re dangled over this bridge, I wonder if we might … negotiate some small items?”
The one shred of good news: apparently Congress has applied some pressure on SoundExchange to negotiate, meaning public action has actually made some difference. Whatever the ultimate solution, it’d be nice to think some sort of public involvement might push the government to do something effective.
Wired has some good reporting on this:
Net Radio Wins Partial Reprieve as Royalties Loom
Meanwhile, I have a partial vacation to get back to. See you soon.