Sound Exchange, in addition to being a funky place in Houston to buy or trade CD's, is the new national agency supposedly formed to collect royalties for artists. In actuality it prefers not to find the artists so it can keep the money and is joining forces to kill independent radio and music to benefit the big four record labels.
John Nova Lomax:
It's probably no coincidence that the attempted murder of Internet radio follows quickly on the heels of Big Radio's rollout of HD radio, their own corporate-controlled, sanitized-for-your-protection answer to the wild Web. If they can somehow force-feed us HD, they can start calling the shots again.
And in the meantime, they may even think they can drag all 52 million American Internet radio listeners back kicking and screaming to the wonders of the traditional radio dial. Crockett is convinced that the National Association of Broadcasters is behind the lobbying on the price increase. “The N.A.B. represents terrestrial radio stations, and the last thing they need is anything to draw people away, because listenership to terrestrial radio has declined 22 percent since deregulation in 1996,” he says. “So they want to make Webcasting so unbelievably expensive that there is no way that anyone would ever do it.”
....A much more sensible proposal has been put forth. It is federal legislation, it is called H.R. 2060 and it would supersede the C.R.B's ruling. It calls for a royalty rate of 7.5 percent of total revenue or .33 cents per listener-hour, as decided by the provider, so the artists would get paid and the Webcasters could survive.