SoundExchange Torture

It's been several months and finally SoundExchange, the royalty negotiators for the record labels, has gotten back to Internet streamers with an answer on a more equitable rate structure.


SoundExchange Executive Director John Simson told the NAB in a letter that their offer of June 6th to settle the dispute over Internet streaming rates is unacceptable.

The NAB's website had been featuring a countdown clock for the number of days it took to get an answer to their proposal -- 96. Here's NAB's response.

This is foolish.

The Internet streaming business can't really be a business unless it has more equitable rates for the use of music programming and it sorely needs stability in rates -- that is, a long term agreement.

Both equitable rates and stability. Not one or the other.

Perceived attempts by SoundExchange to divide the smaller Internet streamers from their bigger brothers and sisters has apparently not gotten any traction.

What SoundExchange is doing is tantamount to torture -- not to streamers but to the very record labels they represent.

The poor labels haven't done too much right since the turn of the century. They've lost the CD. Been on the wrong side of the downloading issue. Enabled and then allowed Apple CEO Steve Jobs to fill the leadership vacuum they have left -- thus, the iPod and iTunes stores have thrived.

Their attempt to sue naughty consumers to stop pirating music not only failed but illegal downloading has increased. And if you want to pay the lowest price for music, you can still download from Russia for pennies on the dollar. The record labels haven't been able to stop that -- either.

So, it must be torture for the poor labels.

Here they think that they've got these helpless Internet streamers by the you know whats. True, streaming music on the Internet can never be a business as long as the future is so uncertain.


If I had a choice of being an Internet streamer when I grew up or a record label, I'd choose -- an Internet streamer.

Streamers have a future.

Space exploration or the Titanic?

With or without the help of SoundExchange, Internet radio broadcasters will adapt to the DRM-free music that is available to them if they have to because paying the present CRB rates is not a viable option. And I've always believed that getting away from the mainstream music industry would actually help the music business -- more variety, more opportunity, more volume.

Torture without habeas corpus -- is this Guantanamo?

Habeas corpus in late Middle English : Latin, literally means ‘you shall have the body (in court).’

That's what SoundExchange is going to have if they don't negotiate in good faith for more equitable rates and stability for Internet streamers except that the body they shall have in court -- to use the Latin -- will be theirs.

And it will be dead on arrival.

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