Wednesday, June 27, 2007

(06.27.07) Recommends:

Reading Rules Before Complaining About Them.

I don't know how your web surfing has been going lately (btw, do people even use that word anymore -- websurfing? So quaintly 90s, right?) but I'm growing increasing exasperated at all these blogs complaining about the Copyright Royalty Board's implementation of new royalty rates that webcaster's must pay to play music. A bunch of web radiocasters engaged in a Day of Silence in protest. Coalitions have been formed, to get people aware of the "problem."

Here's the thing. Go ahead and Google this problem. What do you come up with? A bunch of blogs complaining of "outrageous rates" that are "putting webcasters out of business" and "taking food out of people's mouths" by charging "more in fees than we can possibly make up in revenue."

Which is all very concerning. Except that none of the blogs or articles say what the rates are, or what the rates were, or how much money they are losing. Editor's note: this is not a good way to convince people of your point.

So, for my sanity, if not yours, today I present the CRJ's Final Determination of Rates and Terms. Now, I'm not completely finished hashing through the opinion, but here's something that immediately jumps out at me: it includes the rates! And here are the rates:

$0.0008 per performance, 2006 (the fees are retroactive).
$0.0011 per performance, 2007.
$0.0014 per performance, 2008.
$0.0018 per performance, 2009.
$0.0019 per performance, 2010.

These numbers are conveniently left out of all anti-fee discussion I have seen. Why? I'm not sure, but here is a possibility. For people who live in the Bay Area, and pay...

$3.50 per gallon of the cheapest Rotten Robbie gasoline;
$4.00 per grande cuppashittychino;
$10.00 per cheapest six pack of beer;
$1000 per month for small one bedroom apartment; would be awfully hard to work up the energy to write passionate blog posts about zeros and zeros of cents. But it's much easier when we can scream : the govt is interfering with our lives, harming the little guy and making the rich richer! Editor's note: Everybody stop your damn screaming.

Read the opinion first. I'll be sure to wake you up in the middle up it, because I'm pretty sure you'll fall asleep reading it -- it turns out the reality is much more boring -- and much less outrageous -- than the screaming blog posts suggest.

Copyright Royalty Judge -- Final Determination of Rates & Terms -- pdf.

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