TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Web Radio Stations Set for "Day of Silence" Protest June 26

Re: Web Radio Stations Set for "Day of Silence" Protest June 26
Wed, 27 Jun 2007 11:53:01 -0700

On Jun 25, 6:26 pm, Reuters News Wire <>

> Web radio broadcasters across the United States were preparing for a
> 'Day of Silence' on June 26 to protest the U.S. government's plans to
> boost royalty payments to artists and record companies by more than
> 300 percent, when their music is played online.

I read this and the other related post but I do not understand the

I presume the determination of royalties is a private issue set by
contract between artist and user. I would be very surprised if the
copyright law or some US Government agency determines the amount of
the royalty.

Is that a US Government agency? Sounds more like a private sector
cooperative arrangement.

I must admit I am suspicious of webcasters and other new technology
advocates. IMHO they seek benefits and protections of govt regulation
but none of the obligations. In this particular instance, it seems
they want the freedom to broadcast but are they willing to accept the
restrictions that more traditional broadcasters are required to comply

The copyright issues of performance were extensively discussed on the newsgroup. I was sorry to see many posters claimed as a
Constitutional Right to freely download works without charge; they saw
works as all being in the public domain that they were entitled to
have access to. In fact, the US Constitution explicitly provides for
copyright and patent protection. One might debate the terms, but the
protection clearly exists.

Some posters were angry at large corporations that own many works. I
have no love for big corporations, but that is irrelevent, they have
their rights to their ownership just as you and I do.

Some posters were angry at retracted works, such as old movies or
music that is no longer sold. They felt strongly that had a right to
such items. I strong disagree. If I produce a work but later on
decide to withdraw it from sale or distribution, that is my sole right
to do so. (You can resell your own copy, but not duplicate it for

If I am missing any arguments in this issue, could someone explain
them in layman's terms? Thanks. [public replies, please]

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As I understand it, the 'new' rates
being requested of webcasters is not, in itself substantially out of
line; a bit higher than the rates charged many other groups, but sort
of reasonable. Where the problem arises is the group which represents
the musicians/artists is asking for this payment to be retroactive to
January 1, _2006_, or 18 months ago. Instead of demanding that the
royalty payments begin _immediatly_, which is part of the problem,
they are asking for arrears to be paid as well. PAT]

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