Feeds

Big name microcasters pull the plug

Culturecide

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

It's culturecide. The RIAA-inspired royalty tax has already taken some of the most highly regarded webcasters off the Net. SomaFM, the San Francisco-based station, ceased broadcasting today.

"To stay on the air, SomaFM will have to pay about $500 a day in fees to the RIAA," the broadcaster said in a message posted on its website.

Under the revised fees published by the Library of Congress yesterday, SomaFM says it would need to find $15,372 in additional RIAA royalties - or $7.69 per listener per month. That's on top of other royalties and overheads. Analog radio broadcasters don't need to pay this fee.

The Doc has some more figures here.

But what's crippling these broadcasters is that they have to pay back royalties on almost four years' of broadcasts to 1998. SomaFM estimated this would leave a station with 1,000 listeners with a $500,000 dollar bill to the RIAA. This becomes due in October.

Other webcasters announcing that they were ceasing broadcasting included popular French ambient station BlueMars. "CARP has just killed microbroadcasting. The dream is over," writes Frances Gastellu ('lone') - one of a bunch of very cool guys at Nullsoft. (We'd have posted this story earlier ago if we hadn't spent an hour at the Aegis Corporation's web site).

SomaFM asks if the RIAA is greedy or stupid? The answer is both - but there's a third reason that trumps either, and that's that it wants complete control. Popular culture has never belong to the RIAA, or anyone but the artists and their audience - us. The RIAA knows that control is ebbing away, not because of digital copying but because the industry hasn't had a new idea in twenty years, as Michael Wolff discussed in his New York Magazine article recently. [Ignore embarrassing comparisons of novelists to rock stars - it's otherwise a good read]

The industry has scalped along by repackaging baby boomer hits in CD format, while an underground which it never understood and couldn't control thrived. Closing down alternative promotion channels such as microbroadcasting - which actually helps record sales - ensures that the RIAA's shell game can continue a little longer.

But it's only when there's enough support for the notion that popular culture belongs to us, - and that to us as a society it really, really matters and that constitutional protection from the pigopolists, isn't just an option, but a necessity - that we'll be safe. ®

Related Stories

Net radio going off the air
Net radio wins reprieve
Judge drops Napster bombshell

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.