For those of you who were wondering why Internet Radio doesn’t just play unsigned bands and avoid the royalties, here’s this little nugget from Mary Wehmeier:
Doc has asked the question: Do these webcasting fees only apply to acts signed to RIAA labels? The answer to this is actually not well known, but something I “found” during the Town Hall Webcast on CARP– Sound Exchange was formed by the RIAA as a non-profit agency of the RIAA to act as a designated “agent” for the industry. Sound Exchange/RIAA made some arrangement with the Library of Congress to be named (designated) Agent to receive the CARP funds for all artists. It was also stated that Sound Exchange would be charged with the mission of trying to find every artist or their estate who was entitled to received the fees. This included artists who were unsigned with any record company/label, minus a percentage for handling the transaction, of course.
So even if you played 100% unsigned bands, you would have to fork over the same royalty payments. Which just goes to show that this isn’t about the RIAA protecting their copyright, it’s about complete control of the medium.
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