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The SoundExchange Billion Dollar Administrative Fee 127

palewook writes "On June 7th, Yahoo, RealNetworks, Pandora, and Live365 sent letters to US lawmakers emphasizing they owe SoundExchange 'administrative fees' of more than $1 billion dollars a year. These fees would be paid for the 'privilege' of collecting the increased CRB royalties effective July 15th, unless the Internet Radio Equality Act passes Congress. SoundExchange, the non-profit music industry entity, admits the levied charge of $500 per 'channel' is supposed to only cover their administrative costs. Last year, SoundExchange collected a total of $20 million dollars from the Internet radio industry. Under the new 'administrative fee' RealNetworks, which hosted 400,000 unique subscribed channels in 2006, would owe an annual administrative charge of 200 million dollars in addition to the retroactive 2006 rate hike per song played."

AACS Vows to Fight Bloggers 601

Jonas Wisser writes "The BBC is carrying the story that AACS has promised to take action against those who have posted the AACS crack online. Michael Ayers, chairperson of AACS, noted that the cracked key has now been revoked, and went on to say, 'Some people clearly think it's a First Amendment issue. There is no intent from us to interfere with people's right to discuss copy protection. We respect free speech.' The AACS website tells consumers how they can 'continue to enjoy content protected by AACS' by 'refreshing the encryption keys associated with their HD DVD and Blu-ray software players.'"

RIAA Claims Ownership of All Artist Royalties For Internet Radio 458

ISurfTooMuch writes "With the furor over the impending rate hike for Internet radio stations, wouldn't a good solution be for streaming internet stations to simply not play RIAA-affiliated labels' music and focus on independent artists? Sounds good, except that the RIAA's affiliate organization SoundExchange claims it has the right to collect royalties for any artist, no matter if they have signed with an RIAA label or not. 'SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free ... So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties.'"

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