Feeds

RIAA faces antitrust suit

Man bites pig

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) could find itself on the end of an anticompetitive lawsuit filed by Internet broadcasters.

The Webcaster Alliance, an organization which represents grassroots streaming media, says it will take legal action "unless the RIAA takes concrete steps to address anticompetitive conditions in the market that threaten to eliminate small commercial webcasters."

The trade group reckons there are 10,000 small commercial webcasters in the United States, but the RIAA's monopoly on royalty collection favors the large players. Most are not in compliance with either the Library of Congress' royalty Determination, or the controversial "Voice of Webcasters" agreement - a deal which a break away group of broadcasters cut with the RIAA last year.

The case, if filed, could hinge on an unguarded comment by RIAA attorney Gary Greenstein, who said he didn't care if 25,000 webcasters went to the wall, because AOL would offer soon offer streaming channels.

The eight webcasters who signed the agreement could also find themselves in the firing line.

"VOW Eight apparently entered into an agreement among themselves, and with the RIAA, in order to establish minimum rates that would raise the costs of doing business to many small commercial webcasters - including many Alliance members. By raising rivals’ costs, the VOW Eight were apparently intent on either eliminating their competitors and/or raising barriers to entry in the market for small commercial webcasting."

It's ironic that the litigious RIAA finds itself, for once, on the receiving end of a lawsuit. A case of man bites dog - or more accurately, man bites pigopolist.

However John Simson of the RIAA's collection arm, SoundExchange, argues that broadcasters should pay for their hobby.

"The average hunter spends around $1,800 per year on their hobby. How much do photographers spend?" he told us. "It's all well and good to run a hobby, but Kodak doesn't give out free film. It's only right to pay a reasonable fee," he said.

The RIAA is given exclusivity to negotitate under the US Copyright Act, Section 114(e), which states that:

(1) Notwithstanding any provision of the antitrust laws, in negotiating statutory licenses in accordance with subsection (f), any copyright owners of sound recordings and any entities performing sound recordings affected by this section may negotiate and agree upon the royalty rates and license terms and conditions for the performance of such sound recordings and the proportionate division of fees paid among copyright owners, and may designate common agents on a nonexclusive basis to negotiate, agree to, pay, or receive payments.

… which isn't the same things as an Antitrust exemption. ®

Related Stories

AOL Time Warner takes grip of net radio
RIAA agrees webcasting rates... with non-webcasting AOL, Microsoft
Bush signs Webcast Act
Helms explains webcasting deal
RIAA engineered webcast split - former exec
Webcast relief defers Day of Judgement
New Alliance for webcasters
Civil disobedience promised after net radio royalty bill falls
'RIAA-written' Net radio bill served to Senate
RIAA-backed webcast bill 'a disaster for the US'
'96 pc of Net Radio' to close after backroom deal screws grassroots 'casters

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.