THE LONG RUNNING BATTLE between Internet radio stations and a loosely-affiliated cabal of heavy-handed rights management organisations in the US seems to have come to an amicable agreement.
The agreement, which is still in draft form, will see some digital content providers handing over 10.5 per cent of their revenues to a central collection agency which will then hand a no doubt substantially smaller percentage back to composers and performers.
And for once it looks like the RIAA and all of its little helpers have made a sensible and considered decision rather than lashing out wildly against anyone not willing or able to toe its draconian lines, harming everyone involved, including itself.
The deal broadly includes those operations offering streaming services where the end user doesn't end up with a replayable copy of the material, so the likes of Itunes will not be affected.
Previously, online radio stations would pay $0.000768 for each copyrighted tune they played, but in 2007 the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) tried to increase that figure by up to 1,200 per cent, which sent many a well-loved wibblecaster scurrying for the hills.
But the new deal could be a massive boost for potential new stations as any start-up with a potential zero dollar revenue stream will be able to establish itself without fear of the RIAA kicking in the doors and repossessing the servers.
RIAA: How much did you earn last year?
INQ FM: Errrm... six bucks.
RIAA: Well that means you owe us (stares at fingers and scratches head)... you owe us...
INQ FM: Here's six cents... now burger off and leave us be. We have some banging choons to play.
There is also some scope for royalty-free promotional streaming built into the draft, meaning that bands which are happy for their music to be heard without payment will be able to get to the kids without filling the coffers of an unconstitutional and unelected body of government lobbying, overly-litigious, self-seeking, overbearing, bullying thugs.
Rant off. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score