Pirates? Thieves? Why, yes, that would be the RIAA
'The deal from SoundExchange is only available to smaller web radio operators. "We do expect commercial webcasters like Yahoo! and AOL to pay the new royalty rates set by the CRB due 15 July," said SoundExchange executive director John Simson. "It is essential that recording artists and content owners receive full and fair compensation from the webcasters making use of their creative works."'
Payment to artists who are signed to the major labels run approximately 3.5% for tracks sold through iTunes. Independent artists get about 60% of the retail price.
SoundExchange and the RIAA take a huge cut off the top of iTunes sales, in the neighborhood of 56.5%.
So who, exactly, is getting the payments from the extortionate fees imposed by SoundExchange? Why, it's SoundExchange - NOT the recording artists.
On a technical level, it is physically impossible to make streaming music - or any other kind of music "unrippable." if it can be heard, it can be recorded, period.
I hereby propose that all music lovers immediate begin a boycott of *all* artists who are signed by record labels - no CD purchases, no live concerts, no monetary compensation to "label artists" in any way whatsoever. When they break from the labels, go independent, then and only then they deserve compensation.
SoundExchange and the RIAA are pirates in the same sense that the Caribbean buccaneers were pirates - they steal from the people who actually create and own the wealth.