back to article Why Last.fm isn't sweating the RIAA's royalty hike

Last.fm, the popular custom radio and music network, will press on with expansion plans, despite the threat to internet radio from the record industry lobbyists in the US. A battle is currently being fought Stateside over how much royalty should be paid for streaming radio. Until the tail end of last week, the future of online …

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Economics

"SoundExchange and the RIAA have argued that the bigger potential audience for internet radio means it should pay more."

If I buy something I expect to pay the normal price; If I buy a whole crate I expect to get a better per-unit price. With just about every product or service this is how it works.

Are SoundExchange and the RIAA living on a different planet where customers are penalised for being better customers?

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Different planet

Yep. It's called the USA.

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have last thought

The IRAA may ask that the ISPs or similer stop the stations outside the US from being heard!! unless they pay sound exchange could happen

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Anonymous Coward

So this is how freedom dies... again

And so here we see the usual advance of the pigopoly squeezing out the little guys. The inevitable outcome of this furore is that only the big players will be able to afford to run Internet radio stations, just like their real-life counterparts, safely esconcing complete control of popular media back in the hands of Big Business.

Seriously, it's high time the little guys started forcibly taking matters into their own hands. I'm looking forward to tuning into all the pirate radio stations that will spring up in Russia, Ukraine, Tonga and the rest of the true free world once the American tyranny closes off all opportunity for independent broadcasting in the enslaved West. I certainly won't be listening to the drivel the Western wealthy elite will be foisting on us, just as I don't have a TV or radio set in my house - all my news and media comes from the internet, from non-big-corporate sources (of which El Reg is just one). But I will lament the death of Slay Radio, my fave Internet radio station, which plays awesome modernised remixes of Commodore 64 and Amiga game tunes. Hopefully, they'll transfer their base of operations to a free country like Ukraine where they can tell the copyright pigopolists to get f**ked.

Well, I'm off now to learn how to speak Russian. I guess I'll need it in the future to be able to communicate with that portion of the human race that will remain free once the Bush/Blair New World Order closes down around our ears for ever. How ironic, that the one country I remember from the Cold War days, which I thought would spread Stalinist tyranny across the world, should turn out to be amongst humanity's last hopes for freedom!

Do svidaniya, druzhok! :)

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Anonymous Coward

There's always Canada

Hey.

There's always Canada.

Internet Regulation still hasn't really been enforced up here. If any country could help turn the tide, it's this place.

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Slay Radio

I'm guessing that the remixes may still be free. Bear in mind that the whole RIAA copyright thing will only apply to music which is by RIAA members, (or at least music that is copyrighted in the same way as RIAA members) your C64 and Amiga remixes may be by indie artists using a much more copyleft styled system which means Slay Radio would be unaffected by this bill or any other RIAA legislation.

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Another solution to the problem

There is another solution to this new RIAA problem, for the internet radios.

Since this *IAA monster logically could only bag money for American artists, simply boycott all US artists. It should give for an interesting explanation, if americal artists get zero air time. This might solve the "piracy" issue aswell, since the listeners are unlikely to pirate music they've never heard about.

//Svein

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Last thought? Huh?

Mike wrote:

The IRAA may ask that the ISPs or similer stop the stations outside the US from being heard!! unless they pay sound exchange could happen

What you're talking about is borderline impossible really. As soon as the ISPs blocked the sites there would be complaints from the customers as well as a huge up-in-arms from the ACLU.

Plus there's also proxy servers and sites. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. Free for the use and all it takes is a simple googling to find them.There are programs you can run on your computer to hop to a different proxy server every few microseconds if you're that paranoid. And once in a proxy you can transfer to the site through it. The ISPs would have to block every free open proxy in the world to truely stop it in the US. And they would have to update the lists twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixy-five days a year. Because a new one would open up and it would start over again.

Then you've got to get to the cell phone companies that offer internet through cells. And satelites connections. And repeater sites that find ways around it and broadcast still.

It's a very unfeasible idea to have every ISP and web provider in the U.S. block all of that.

But it wouldn't surprise me to see the RIAA try. I can easily foresee the day when the idea of free internet radio is a dirty word and punished for its existance.

But someone had the right idea. If you can't play American bands without paying, then don't play em. There are thousands of independent unsigned artists out there that would kill for free world-wide publicity like internet radio to stream their music.Go find them and stop wasting money on artists that most of the time suck anyhow and can only release a single worthwhile track on a album of 13 and sell it for $20 a pop. Find the no-name unsigned unheard of bands that are really good and support them.

Truely, the RIAA only believes the power is in their hands. They can make it so you can't hear what you want, but they can't make you listen to what you don't want to. And in the end that will hurt them just as much as any piracy.

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Um... Timothy.... too late

Heard recently that the RIAA want royalties on ALL music, even ones not by RIAA members. If you have a band and play music on Internet Radio in the USA, the Internet Radio station pays a royalty to the RIAA.

You can of course get hold of the royalties collected by the RIAA for you... er... but you'll need to pay a fee (of course) to join SoundExchange...

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How?

How could the RIAA collect royalties for non-participating parties without their prior consent? Now, forgive my ignorance here, but I'm pretty sure that's kind of illegal. I'd say immoral, but we all know the RIAA has no morals, ethics or any sort of conscience to speak of.

Basically what you're saying is that if Person A creates something and Person B uses Person A's something, Person C, who has no knowledge or association with Person A, can demand money from Person B based on absolutely nothing.

Now I know the RIAA has a lot of sway in Washington but I still have a hard time believing they're going to get that one passed into law.

I mean it's the equivilent of me saying "No, I didn't create The Register. No, I didn't write any of the articles, donate to the site or in any way, shape, or form contribute to its making or day to day dealings and/or upkeep and maintenance. However, dispite the fact that I'm not providing any sort of service to you that deals with the register at all, and have no affiliation with you or The Register, I'm going to charge The Register $1USD per reader per article."

I expect my check in the mail, Reg ;)

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your right

the IrAA will charge for non members material and keep the money.

through their soundexchange personally i think that the record companies should pay the radio stations for the free plugs they have had over the years all copyright is theft to either the end user who hands are tied with DRM or the radio stations. They cant tell me that the artists receive the money paid as they pay it to record companies the artists are tied up with contracts that do not give the artist money bands make money from gigs not records they just get the band known and liked. and fleesed by the record companies

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