[JPL] Response to John Simson's letter

MIKE MATHENY drmike at radioio.com
Sun Mar 25 22:11:36 EDT 2007

Fellow readers of the JPL. 
John Simson argues that musicians should support the royalty rate
recently adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board. But, in doing so, he
distorts the facts about how these royalties will harm musicians by
driving small and noncommercial webcasters - the ones who do the most to
support new and independent music - out of business. Independent
observers have determined that the total royalties owed for 2007 will be
more than double the entire Internet Radio industry's revenue - and this
falls hardest on independent webcasters who can't subsidize their
operations with revenues that comes from other sources, as can portals
or broadcasters who also provide Internet radio streams

While John offers as evidence of the fairness of the new rates the fact
that webcasters have continued operation after the 2002 royalties, which
many claimed would be devastating to Internet radio. Yet he conveniently
ignores the fact that many webcasters have been able to operate in this
period only because Congress enacted the Small Webcasters Settlement Act
- giving small commercial webcaster a percentage of revenue royalty rate
and providing noncommercial webcasters a substantial discount off the
commercial rate. Under the new decision, the Board does away with the
percentage of revenue royalty, recognizing that many webcasters may be
put out of business by this decision, but finding that it was not the
Board's responsibility to ensure their survival. Nowhere in its decision
does the Board cite any evidence that webcasters are making any profits
- so how are they to survive?

The Future of Music Coalition, a major advocacy group for musicians -
particularly new and independent musicians - has determined that these
royalties will hurt these musicians by ending the streams of small and
noncommercial webcasters, and has urged SoundExchange to reach a
compromise deal that will allow these entities to survive and continue
to promote new music. Let's hope that John Simson is interested in the
success of new and independent music, and takes the Future of Music
Coalition's advice and reaches a deal to allow these entities to survive
and continue to promote new music. 



Michael Matheny

radioIOJAZZ Program Director



A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of ioWorldMedia,Inc

Dr. Michael E. Matheny

www.radioIoJazz.com <http://www.radioiojazz.com/>  

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phone 800.884.8634  ext 732  e-mail drmike at radioio.com


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