Licensing and Whatnot

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So I I get to work a while ago and go to Pandora Radio and find the following message.

“I’m sorry to say that today Pandora, along with most Internet radio sites, is going off the air in observance of a Day Of Silence. We are doing this to bring to your attention a disastrous turn of events that threatens the existence of Pandora and all of internet radio. We need your help.

“Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.”

Okay, so I wouldn’t call this “disastrous,” as much as just a head-scratcher. I don’t understand licensing well enough to say anything interesting here. I’m not a fan of illegal downloads, so it’s not like I’m trying to get something for nothing here. I’ve heard a lot of new bands by listening to Pandora and have bought a few albums that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

So I guess my question is: why would this be a big deal for RIAA? Why would they want to hinder potential consumers from hearing about their products? Is there something larger at work here that I don’t know about?

(And for some reason I have it in my head that DeJon knows all about this stuff….so DeJon? Thoughts?)

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6 Responses to “Licensing and Whatnot”

  1. C-Love Says:

    It’s a dark day indeed. Here’s a site devoted to saving Internet Radio that gives some details.

    http://www.savenetradio.org/

  2. DeJon Redd Says:

    Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t know how services like Pandora differ from AM/FM radio, save payola.

    Damn the man!

  3. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Going by what they’ve done and said in the past, it seems the RIAA is just anal in the extreme about relinquishing their white-knuckle grip on any revenue stream.

    They aren’t going to give up one dime of what they’ve got now in exchange for a 50% chance at a dollar down the road.

    RIAA is to today’s music revenue model as the NRA is to assault rifles. It’ll have to be pried out of their cold, dead hands.

    (One could throw TicketMaster into this mix, too.)

  4. Michael Lasley Says:

    That’s the thing I don’t get, DeJon. It really doesn’t seem to be different than AM/FM. They get sponsers for their site. They pay some royalties. AND THEY GET PEOPLE LISTENING TO BANDS THEY WOULDN’T HAVE HEARD OF ELSEWISE. And, I’ve bought a few albums because of this site. And it’s not like you are downloading the songs from Pandora. You’re LISTENING to it. Isn’t the point of the music industry to get people listening to and BUYING music?

    I think they’re being overly anal about this. I know that pirating is a big deal and not everyone plays nice. I blame NAPSTER.

  5. Michael Lasley Says:

    And sorry for using so many capital letters in my last comment. Don’t know what came over me. I’m really not that upset about this. Just one of those things that don’t make no sense.

  6. C-Love Says:

    It looks like an effort to suck even more money and power out of the industry that maybe the RIAA thought wouldn’t cause such a stir. They surely thought they could spin it as an effort to save the indie artist, but it’s really the exact opposite.

    Internet radio already pays more royalties then regular AM/FM stations. Plus, you can’t even pirate a song from internet radio. Unless you’re Whistler from Sneakers. ARGH!

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