Webcasting Royalty Structure Upheld

An appeal court upheld the existing fee structure for webcasting music. I paid some attention to this issue in the debate phase because of my involvement with WREK, one of the first two stations to webcast their air signal. What I could never understand about the whole thing is that webcasters pay these fees to the RIAA, whether or not the songs being webcast have any RIAA involvement. This matters to WREK, because they considered scrubbing their playlists of any music from RIAA labels and fighting it, but it turns out that not playing RIAA label music does not exempt you from the fees. The RIAA will take your money to “compensate their artists” (and until someone audits their asses no way do I believe that) even if you are not playing their artists. Who is the pirate now? I believe that setting up a system so that you can take money you didn’t earn should also be termed piracy.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.