SoundExchange vs. Webcasters: 'What's Really True'

By | April 28, 2007 at 12:22 PM

There has been a lot of attention recently surrounding royalty rates for internet broadcasters. Let’s have a look.

As a webcaster, artist, and owner of WebcastersUnite.net I would like
to address some of the statements being made by SoundExchange.

Lets first look at the recent claims SoundExchange has made about
reaching out to small webcasters. My organization currently has 358
registered internet radio stations. SoundExchange has not “reach out ”
to me, nor any other small organization of webcasters that I am aware
of. I believe this to be rhetoric in an effort to make them look like
the good guys, when in reality they would like the small webcaster
removed from the scenario altogether. It has been obvious through their
own press releases that they don’t care to have small webcasters exist.
They even went as far as implying the small webcasters were overly
saturating the internet with stations. They knew the bloated rates
would force most broadcasters to close their stations. Now they are
reaching out? Sorry don’t believe that one. It is just a ploy to try
and make people believe they are somehow the good guys.

Now that the Internet Radio Equality Act has been introduced they are
calling a foul. SoundExchange doesn’t like the fact that this bill
levels the playing field for broadcasters by setting royalty rates
equally between the different broadcast mediums. What is unfair about
it? If other broadcast mediums pay a much smaller rate why should’nt
internet radio be allowed to pay that same rate?

SoundExchanges response is to try and divide webcasters by making
statements like this “Because the bill is so heavily favored to enrich
the big webcasters, it raises questions as to who is really behind the
SaveNetRadio Coalition,” observed Simson. They want to pull unknowing
artists over to their side with statements like this “Although this
coalition purports to be on the side of musicians, they have come out
in support of this anti-artist bill.” I say Bunk! There is nothing
contained in this bill that is anti-artist. It is a well known fact
that internet radio supports artists, all artists not just the ones
certain labels want played. If SoundExchange wants to help artists they
should visit AM and FM radio whom do not pay a performance royalty at
all, not try to make internet radio foot the bill for everyone.

In closing I will add that the SaveNetRadio Coalition has done an
excellent job of informing everyone of the issues and consequences
surrounding the internet radio rates. Knowledge is power. If people
know and understand the facts they will react accordingly. At the end
of the day they will make up their own minds. What’s fair and what
isn’t will be decided by each individual. If internet radio is to
survive the Internet Radio Equality Act must pass through congress.
Otherwise internet radio as we know it will disappear. As an involved
party I would ask anyone reading this to weigh the evidence. If you
feel internet radio should pay 300-1200% more than any other broadcast
medium, do nothing. If you feel all broadcasters should pay the same
rate go savenetradio.org and contact your representatives. Ask them to
co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.

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