Thursday, March 22, 2007

SoundExchange: we're fair

The struggle to get US net radio royalties reduced continues, with collection agency SoundExchange missing the point as it tries to defend the new rates:

Webcasters have a number of opportunities to maximize revenue with a captive audience attracted by music created by artists through banner ads, pop-ups, video pre-rolls, audio commercials and other avenues of revenue generation. While we want internet radio to succeed, it is only fair that artists be compensated for the value of their work, which forms the basis of their business...

"Recent claims by a few webcasters that the process was unfair simply reveal that their complaints are not really about process, but rather about results. Webcasters like AOL, Clear Channel, and others want to impose low rates on artists, rather than accept fair market rates as the law requires. They may disagree with the ruling, but they should be forthcoming about the integrity of the process."

SoundExchange don't even seem to entertain the possibility that some people might be looking to set up online music services because they're enthusiastic about music rather than because they're running their website as a profit-maximising business. And we really must take this opportunity to thank them for pointing out that you can really degrade people's experiences so much in the interests of turning a buck - "scatter your site with pop-up ads - that'll make money."

It's like a debt collector suggesting your protests of not having money to pay him off are empty all the while you're not exploiting the prostitution possibilities offered by your sister.

And interesting, too, to see that SoundExchange is calling for "fair market rates" - it's impossible to see how a flat, centrally mandated, one-size-fits-all revenue pricepoint could be described as a "market rate"; even more so when there are so many broadcasters insisting that the price is more than they are able or willing to pay. In a marketplace, the price should fall to the point where people are happy to pay, surely - or was DCW, my economics teacher, nothing more than a fibbing liar?

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