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Vice Admiral (Moderator)
Joined: Apr 20, 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:49 am Post subject: Final Copy of Voice Of Webcaster's Petition to Congress
This is the finalized copy of the petition being sent to Congress by Voice of Webcasters. StreamingSoundtracks.com has been included in this list. Please read over it, and give us your thoughts.
Also, feel free to print this document in it's entirety, and distribute it to your local media stations and newspapers.
You can find this document in Microsoft Word format at http://daedalus.hartford.edu/~morglum/vowpetition.doc
US Members of Congress
Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Library of Congress Decision Setting Performance Royalty Rates for Use of Music on the Internet condemned by United Group of Webcasters
We respectfully submit this petition on behalf of the undersigned group of small, independent webcasters, asking for your help in averting the impending collapse of much of the Internet webcasting business. Each of the undersigned companies operates an Internet Radio station with a significant listening audience. These companies provide outlets for public expression and add diversity to the media landscape, but the continued existence of each of these companies is threatened by a recent decision of the Library of Congress setting rates for the royalties to be paid to copyright holders for the use of music on the Internet. The undersigned companies are fairly representative of the vast majority of Internet Radio stations, yet no one has been standing up for their interests that are imperiled by the recent rate setting decision. Thus, this coalition of small webcasters was born.
The Library of Congress determination that established this royalty rate used a “willing buyer and willing seller” standard based on ONE agreement between a very large webcaster and the recording industry. Using one agreement involving a company not representative of the majority of webcasters to set a standard for an entire industry is, in and of itself, an arbitrary decision and bad public policy. Even worse, recent reports quote a former executive of that company as stating that the rate was purposely set at an artificially high value to force small webcasters, like those signed below, out of business. That is exactly the effect that this decision is already producing. Although this rate is not effective until September 2002, 100’s of Internet Radio webcasters are already in the process of closing down their streams or have stopped streaming altogether. If this decision is not changed, the process will continue; small independent companies will be driven from the webcasting business and the few large companies that can afford the high rates will dominate the webcasting industry. In this period of rapid media consolidation, it would be terrible to effectively exclude small businesses from the one arena that offers so much promise for the flowering of diversity and free expression.
What made the process even more unfair is that small companies like those below were effectively excluded from participating in the process that determined these rates, due to the extremely high financial commitment required. The rules governing the arbitration process that arrived at these rates required that participants pay a share of the arbitrators’ fees, which exceeded $1,000,000. Small webcasters simply could not afford those fees, much less the cost of the attorneys necessary to try a case that went on for almost six months. Thus, the process to set a rate governing a vast, growing industry was arrived at by representatives of only a few very large companies – companies having different interests than those of the small independent webcasters. Having private interests set public policy in a forum that excludes the majority of those affected is not in the public interest. The process needs to be based on standards that require arbitrators to set a “fair” royalty rate that considers public interest and balances copyright owners and user interests. This process was not, and threatens the existence of hundreds of webcasters.
The decision that brought about these closings has to be fixed or the trickle of webcasters turning off their signals will become a torrent of bankruptcies, lost jobs, reduced demand for broadband, and more importantly, less opportunity for smaller artists and fewer choices for music listeners on the Internet. Congress must take a position on this, and do it quickly, or they will be partially responsible for the worst loss of Internet related businesses since the dot.com bubble burst two years ago.
This coalition asks that Congress act as soon as possible to accomplish the following things:
1. Immediately stay this Library of Congress decision.
This decision was based on ONE “willing buyer, willing seller” agreement between the RIAA and Yahoo!; an agreement reportedly designed to monopolize the Internet Radio industry by creating an inflated copyright market value that would force small webcasters out of the business of self-streaming. Even David Mandelbrot, Yahoo's vice president of media and entertainment, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May that the agreement had been misapplied “to set excessive rates for an entire industry”. If this rate goes into effect as scheduled in September, hundreds of small webcasters will be driven out of business. Thus, Congress must stay the effect of this decision immediately.
2. Restructure the CARP process to ensure that future Copyright decisions accurately reflect “fair market value” for copyrights.
A. Small businesses must be allowed to participate in any future CARP negotiations without the exorbitant cost of paying the arbitrators’ fees. Copyright decisions affect far more than just big corporations and the process must ensure that small independent businesses can participate to protect their interests.
B. The rate-setting standard must be changed from the current “willing buyer/willing seller” basis, which set such a horrendous precedent with the recent CARP, back to the previous “Fairness” standard that requires arbitrators to set a “fair” royalty rate that considers public interest and balances copyright owners and user interests.
C. The process must be changed so that one organization cannot have enough veto power to stop anyone else from participating.
D. The Register of Copyrights must adhere to the Regulatory Flexibility Act so that the burdens on small business are considered when the Register acts in its regulatory capacity when setting recordkeeping rules and in future rate-setting cases.
E. In that the next CARP convenes in less than 2 months, Congress must act immediately to restructure the CARP process to ensure that none of the problems incurred in the recent CARP will take place in the next negotiation.
As webcasting is an entirely new industry, we understand the problems inherent in establishing a “fair market value” for sound recording royalty rates. However, because of the above problems with the recent CARP procedure, we ask Congress to intervene to stop the implementation of the Library’s decision immediately. Only with Congressional help will small webcasters get a legitimate and fair chance to survive and compete with large commercial webcasters.
The undersigned webcasters would appreciate any opportunity to discuss these concerns with you or your staff.
(For more information including a list of Internet Radio stations already closed down, visit http://www.kurthanson.com.)
Jim and Wanda Atkinson, Owners
St. Louis, Missouri
'70s Rock Stream
John Boswell, Creator
Fort Scott, Kansas
Scott Parent & Brian Brodeur, Co-Founders
Santa Barbara, California
All Bass Radio
Scott Jamar, Owner/Operator
The Aloha Radio Network®
Joe Seiter AKA Aloha JOE®, President and CEO
Aritaur Communications, Inc.
Jennifer Lane, Director
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
Atlanta Blue Sky
Michael Monahan, Owner and Operator
Virginia Beach, Virginia
AtomicPlus, LLC/LuxuriaMusic, LLC
San Francisco, California
Kevin Shively, Director of Interactive Media
Blue IceWater Radio
Debora Panebianco, Broadcaster
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Ron Rubin, President and CEO
bumpNgrind Records & Radio
Cookie Holley, Founder
Steve Kondik, Owner/Operator
Rochelle Lozensky, Founder
CIM Radio Smooth Jazz
Steve Lee, Founder/President
New York City, New York
Classical Music Detroit, L.L.C
Robert F. Ottaway, Founder
Vince Vielhaber, CEO
George Motter, President and CEO
CRC Radio, Inc.
Christopher J. Veile, Webcasting Director
Broadcast location: Moberly, Missouri
Corp. Office: Chicago, Illinois
Salvatore Lepore, George Halstead
DainBramage Radio Network
James Evans, President
Apex, North Carolina
Mark Douglas, CEO/Producer
Greenville, South Carolina
Digger's House of Tunes
Dennis G. Cheng, MPH, Keeper of the Tunes
Flaresound Internet Radio
San Francisco, California
Tracy Barnes, Founder and President
Frank Coon, Owner
Stone Mountain, Georgia
iM Networks, Inc.
Mary McCann, VP Radio
Mountain View, California
Robert Pullman, President
Internet Radio Hawaii
Robert "Rabbett" Abbett, Owner/Operator
Internet Radio Inc.
Val Starr, President
Tim Shriver, Owner/Operator
Bill Goldsmith, Online Operations Manager
Santa Cruz County, California
R. R. Johnson, G.M.
Jeremy Preece, Owner
James J Brust, Owner/Operator
LV Rocks - Noise From Vegas
Jimmy Diggs, Station Manager
Las Vegas, Nevada
Henry Callie, Co-founder
The Megarock Network
Robert Winkelmann, Founder & Operator
St. Louis, Missouri
Dan Morgan - CEO
West Branch, Michigan
Mark D. Glynn, President
Ennis Glendon, President
Owndog’s Musical Journey
Pacific Internet Broadcast Svs. (Hawaiian Hits.com)
LD Reynolds, President and Owner
Steven Hartmann, Program Director
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Chan Weinmeister, Owner
Joseph D. Condon, Owner
Albany, New York
Radio Free Akron
Christopher Jirka, Owner
Munroe Falls, Ohio
Mike Roe, Owner
Ron Kovacs, Owner/Program Director
Flemington, New Jersey
Bill Goldsmith, Owner
Butte County, California
John Schneider, Founder/President
RCN Radio Networks, Inc.
Chris J. Popp, CEO/GM
Shane Stanton, President
Daytona Beach, Florida
Dan Simons, Owner
Fargo, North Dakota
The Rock FM
Jeffrey Franklin Bottoms, Site/Station Owner
Savage Rock Radio
Gene Savage, Co-owner
Wilmington, North Carolina
South Central Oklahoma Christian Broadcasting Inc.
Rick Cody, Operations Manager
Bryan Payne, CEO/Managing Partner
Eric Thornton, Owner
Shawn Miles Gordon, President
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Mike Hays & R W Shamy Jr, Owners
Dave Landis, Founder
Los Angeles, California
WebMedia Consulting, Inc. (Digitally Imported Radio)
G. Ari Shohat, President
Staten Island, New York
Erik Amlee, Big Kahuna
WFMU / Auricle Communications
Ken Freedman, Station Manager
Jersey City, New Jersey
Tom Mondell, Owner & Founder
Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
WOBC 91.5 FM
Neil Freeman, Station Manager
Steve Wolf, Owner
WOXY - 97X
Bryan Jay Miller, Director of Internet Development
Grady (Zero) Nelson, Founder
Zero Art Radio
Tate Anthony Eskew, Station Manager
Zwarp Hard Rock/Genocide Radio
Thomas Lane, News Director/Promotions
“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Joined: Sep 17, 2009
Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:05 am Post subject: hi
its really a very good move by United Group of Webcasters
Joined: Apr 26, 2006
Location: New Zealand
Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:25 pm Post subject:
Good luck with it. But do you really think they care?? Most have been well and truly bought by big business..
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