The SaveNetRadio coalition is a response to the royalty increase in the March 2007 Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ruling. The coalition consists of artists, labels, listeners, and webcasters that believe another solution must be created in order to prevent internet radio stations from shutting down. The CRB decision will harm millions of music listeners, performers who depend on the internet radio to increase their audience, and webcasters who make a living from streaming music online.
SaveNetRadio exposes the unreal myths and harsh facts about the cost of webcasting. While the internet radio is the smallest medium within the radio business, it pays the most royalties. Broadcast radio and satellite radio are subject to small or no royalties at all. The predicted combined revenue for internet radio services is $73.6 million, but 58% of that revenue will be used for royalty payments. Internet radio is one of the most important sources for music listeners. About seven million Americans a days use internet radio. Although the popularity of internet radio has increased tremendously, it is still a small, growing industry. Most webcasters do not generate enough revenue to cover the royalties since they do not have enough sponsors or advertisements to sustain them.
Another myth concerning royalty rates is that artists and record companies were not being fairly compensated for their work prior to the CRB decision. The reality is that if royalties are too high, internet radio will go out of business, and then performers definitely will not be paid for their work. The high royalties will not allow small or large webcasters to survive, and even if large webcasters can afford the royalties, it will not promote competition and diversity in the internet radio services. While the increase in royalties may seem negligible, tripling the per-song royalty rate adds up to an enormous royalty payment. Besides the per-usage rate, webcasters are also subject to a minimum fee per station and have no option to opt for a revenue-based royalty system.
SaveNetRadio is an important topic in my paper. It demonstrates the outrage of the music community to the CRB decision. The myths and facts of the cost of webcasting clearly describe the toll that increased royalties will have on small and large webcasters. SaveNetRadio.org is an extremely useful and interesting source. I think it is an excellent way to bring music fans together to fight the unfairness in the royalty system for internet radio stations.
Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer of Pandora, spoke on behalf of the Digital Media Association (DiMa) at the hearing on “The Future of Radio.” His testimony first introduces Pandora and the Music Genome Project. He emphasizes that Pandora is unbiased in the song selection for its listeners. Through a completely democratic process, listeners can vote “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” if they like the song, and that respective song will gain or lose more exposure. Pandora plays songs from a wide range of artists with about 70% of the sound recordings belonging to artists not affiliated to major record labels. It equally reviews any CD that is delivered to them and selects songs solely based on their musical composition.
Westergren’s statement focuses on the benefits of the internet radio technology. Internet radio offers more stations and diversity content than broadcast, satellite, and FM radio. Virtually any artist or song can be found on the internet. Westergren reports that in a study “Pandora listeners are three to five times more likely to have purchased music in the last 90 days than the average American.” He emphasizes that internet radio is the best way to promote artists and music.
On the issue of royalty rates, Westergren highlights that internet radio has the smallest of all radio revenues yet it pays the highest royalties. The increased rates are not economically sustainable, and unless a new resolution is made with SoundExchange, Pandora and other internet radio companies will immediately shut down. Pandora and DiMa have supported the SaveNetRadio campaign, which has urged support for the Internet Radio Equality Act. Westergren provides words from listeners and musicians who are extremely grateful to internet radio. In his own words, Westergren states, “It is my hope, indeed the reason I started this company, that we are at the beginning of the development of a musicians’ middle class, as radio services like Pandora allow musicians to find a fan base and maintain a steady career making music, which is a real alternative to the major-label system that makes you an enormous star or leaves you unemployed.”
Westergren’s statement is important for my paper, since my argument completely supports his ideas and beliefs. The internet radio is extremely beneficial to the public and I agree that it is the best way to promote an artist’s work. If the royalty rates are increased, this will put a halt to the promotion of cultural diversity. Although not all listeners end up purchasing CDs or songs, the word-of-mouth advertisement for performers is tremendous, this benefits them in the long run. Westergren’s ideas and beliefs are fair and justified. He is not completely against the payment of royalties, but he demands a fair standard to be used for the rate determination, which is what my paper will discuss.
Pandora has become one of the nation’s most popular internet radio stations. It has about one million listeners daily and 40,000 new customers a day. Pandora has made it to the top ten most popular applications for Apple’s iphone. Listeners can create their own stations according to their musical tastes. All of Pandora’s success, however, may soon reach an end with the increasing royalty rates.
Royalty fees are paid to a single agent SoundExchange, Inc. The organization represents performers and record companies, and it supports the higher rates on the basis that musicians deserve a larger fraction of internet radio profits. “Our artists and copyright owners deserve to be fairly compensated for the blood and sweat that forms the core product of these businesses,” said Mike Huppe, general counsel for SoundExchange. The organization also believes that internet radio has not done enough to profit from streaming music.
Some musicians defend Pandora and other internet radio stations on the other hand. Webcasters argue that internet radio offers a larger range of music than traditional radio and also promotes independent musicians. While traditional radio does not pay royalties and satellite radio pay 6-7% of their revenue, webcasters must pay per song and per listener. With the new royalty decision doubling the per performance rates, Pandora and other webcasters may go out of business. Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, predicts that royalty fees will amount to $17 million this year, which is 70% of the projected revenue. “We’re funded by venture capital,” [Westergren] said, “They’re not going to chase a company whose business model has been broken. So if it doesn’t feel like it’s headed toward a solution, we’re done.”
This newspaper article is important for my paper because it portrays the trememdous effect the new royalties will have on Pandora. Westergren repeatedly states that the company will go out of business, and this is important for my paper. Performers will not be paid more for their work if there is no internet radio station that will be in business to pay them. In order to ensure a fair royalty rate, the company must not be threatened to close down. My paper defends another model for determining the royalties and argues against the latest copyright ruling on the royalty rates. This article is important because it not only demonstrates the copyright ruling from Pandora's point of view but also from SoundExchange's perspective.
John Simson defended the new royalty rulings made by the Copyright Royalty Board in his testimony on "Music and Radio in the 21st Century: Assuring Fair Rates and Rules Across Platforms.” Simson is a former performer, artist manager, music attorney, and presently an executive director of SoundExchange. SoundExchange is the single receiving agent of royalties paid by webcasters. He supports the increasing rates on the basic principle that "the people who create music must be paid." He defends SoundExchange's concern over the business of webcasters but argues that revenues are predicted to increase over the future. SoundExchange currently represents about 31,000 artists and 3,500 labels. Simson emphasizes the hard work put into music creation, and he scorns at those who believe music should be free or those who devalue it. Simson argues that webcasters are contradicting the decisions by the Copyright Royalty Board solely based on their prospective financial gains. He strongly believes that the new rates are fair and that no further negotiations are required.
Simson’s testimony is important to my paper because it explains the royalty decision from the opposing point of view. Simson directly works for the company receiving the royalties, and so he represents SoundExchange’s opinions. Although Simson argues that fair rates must be ensured for the sake of the musicians, SoundExchange is also benefitting from the increasing rates. This testimony is important to my paper in order to prove that SoundExchange is biased in its strong royalty support.
On April 25, 2007, the House of Representatives presented the Internet Radio Equality Act with the purpose of nullifying the March 2, 2007, Copyright Royalty Board’s ruling on webcasting and royalty rates. The act proposed a new standard of determining royalties according to Section 801b of the Copyright Act. It also established a transition rule for commercial webcasters for 2006-2010, which offers a choice between paying $0.33 per hour of sound recording to a single listener or 7.5% of the annual revenues received by digital transmission of sound recordings. For noncommercial webcasters, the act proposed a payment of 150% of the royalty fee paid in 2004. The act also proposed a study to determine the competitiveness of the internet radio marketplace. Research is also being conducted to study the effects of the proposed rates on local programming, the diversity of programming, and the entry barriers into the internet radio market.
The Internet Radio Equality Act is an important source for my paper. It demonstrates the efforts Pandora and other internet radio companies are making to fight the Copyright Royalty Board’s last ruling. It also argues that the standards for determining royalty rates should be the same as the ones proposed in the Copyright Act. This bill is important to argue the different sides of the royalty issue in my paper, since it offers the perspective of the internet radio companies. It also allows me to defend the point that there is a better model to determine the rates.
Seeing The Numbers: NYC
We continue our series with Marc Perry, Chief of the Population Distribution Branch at the U.S. Census, on the new Census Atlas of the United States. This week, we look at some of the NYC-specific maps:
Also, Andrew Beveridge, Professor of Sociology for Social Explorer and chair of the Sociology department at Queens College, helps us flesh out what those maps tell us about New York.
Seeing The Numbers: Origins and Diversity
Each Thursday in June, we are taking a look inside the new Census Atlas of the United States, the first of its kind in almost 100 years. Marc Perry, Chief of the Population Distribution Branch at the Census, helps guide us through some of the maps and trends. Today we look at the changing face of America and an interesting definition of "ancestry."
Seeing The Numbers Each Thursday in June, we take a look inside the new Census Atlas of the United States, the first of its kind in almost 100 years. Marc Perry, Chief of the Population Distribution Branch at the Census, helps guide us through some of the maps and trends.
"Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact." New York Times 31 Oct. 1938. ProQuest. 9 Apr. 2008.
This is an original article in the New York Times from 1938 that describes the widespread panic that follows Orson Welles radio show version of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds on Halloween 1938. In the radio show, Orson Welles had done an entire show pretending that aliens had landed in New Jersey and were causing mass destruction throughout New Jersey and New York. Even though the radio station made several announcements to the effect that the show was just a performance, thousands upon thousands of people in the Northeast called their local authorities genuinely terrified and wondering what they could do to protect themselves and their families. Upon being reassured that the show was just a performance, many citizens did not know who to believe – Welles or the police. The telephone companies reported that they had never been so overrun with calls and streets all over New York and New Jersey were flooded with people running aimlessly with wet towels over their mouths trying to protect themselves from the alleged toxic gas.
This article is relevant to Citizen Kane because, aside from Citizen Kane, this stunt was perhaps Welles’ most renowned creative work and is a sort of tribute to his ability as an actor and his talents at emotionally affecting people. Even though the radio show ended up causing mass panic throughout much of New York and New Jersey, and even resulted in a number of people needing treatment for hysteria, Welles had never anticipated the effect his show would have, saying they almost didn’t do the stunt because they thought people would be too bored with something so unbelievable.
Kosovsky, Robert. "[Untitled]." Rev. of Citizen Kane, the Magnificent Ambersons, by Bernard Hermann. American Music: 221-227.
Citizen Kane was the first film project on which Academy Award winning composer Bernard Hermann worked, and the music he created played an integral role in defining the characters of the film and crafting Citizen Kane as a creative work. This article explains the role that Bernard Hermann played in making Citizen Kane a great film, the relationship between Hermann and Welles, and explains the technical side of how Hermann made the different “cues” for the film.
As is mentioned in the article, Hermann and Welles both worked on radio in their early careers, where Hermann composed and arranged upwards of 2,500 shows for CBS. This is where Welles and Hermann met, both exploring their respective arts and collaborating occasionally on shows, including Welles’ famous rendition of War of the Worlds that sent thousands of people across the United States into hysterics. When Welles got his first film deal to make Citizen Kane, he insisted upon having Hermann do the music, giving Hermann his first opportunity to compose for a film. Hermann proved to be exceptional in this and his future projects because while he understood that the primary role of a film score was to complement the visuals of the film, his extensive experience in radio ensured that his scores could act as standalone pieces, as well.
Also, the article discusses the technical side of composing for cinema, explaining how Hermann used “leitmotifs” – a kind of recurring musical motif in reference to a character, location, or theme – to strengthen the relationship between the score and the visuals, creating leitmotifs for many of the films key players, Rosebud, and the various mental states that Kane experienced throughout the film.
Letting polluters off the hook
MARK HERTSGAARD: Unlike lead or asbestos, we can't just ban greenhouse gases. That would shut down America's factories and vehicles overnight. But if we put the right price on greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, we'll use less of them.
The easiest way to do that is a carbon tax. That would increase the prices of gasoline, electricity and other fuels. But we could cut payroll taxes to offset any harm to the poor or the larger economy.
Most proposals in Congress, however, favor supposedly putting the market in charge. Under the so-called cap-and-trade system, the right to emit carbon would become a commodity.
The government would issue carbon emissions permits. Big polluters could buy the right to pollute from companies that haven't used up their permitted pollution levels.
We'd reduce the permits over time, giving companies an incentive: the less carbon they emit, the more money they could make by selling their unused quota to someone else.
The trouble is, Congress seems inclined to give these emission permits away for free, rather than have companies buy them at auction in an open market. Most global warming bills contain grandfather clauses that give companies free permits for up to 90 percent of their current emissions.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Carbon credits have some hot air
Many of the European Union's companies are registering carbon dioxide emissions far below their limits. And that's wreaking some havoc with the market set up to buy and sell carbon credits. Stephen Beard explains.
There's money to be made in the effort to halt global warming. One burgeoning business is the buying and selling of "carbon offsets" to American industry and consumers. What are these offset projects and how good are their claims? Claire Schoen reports.
Tim Wu talks with Neal Conan on NPR's Talk of the Nation about the possible ways presidential candidates might attempt to reach younger voters in the 2008 election. Wu speculates about candidates battling in virtual worlds (which may prove more "exciting" than real-life rallies, since you can actually blow things up). He talks about the increasing participation in virtual worlds like Second Life, but doesn't really contextualize the still relatively small virtual world population. Wu also speculates that it might become more acceptable for serious politicians to make cameo appearances on TV shows as a way of advertising their brand, i.e. themselves. Although he mentions Clinton, it might be useful to think about Gore's career since he left the White House. Appearances on Saturday Night Live and most recently the Oscars with his film An Inconvenient Truth have turned him into Hollywood's golden boy without detracting from (and if anything, increasing) his political clout. Will candidates still in office be able to garner popularity in this way - without worrying about their reputations as "serious" presidential candidates?
This clip is also useful because it imagines the possibilities for increased voter participation throughout the political process.
A parable of politics and race in America. The story of Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington, told on the anniversary of his death. We first broadcast on the tenth anniversary of his death and reran this on the 11th. Washington died November 25, 1987.
Act One. Yesterday. A history of the brief mayoral career of Harold Washington, and its lessons for black and white America, as told by people close to him. Many of them are activists and politicians: Lu Palmer, Judge Eugene Pincham, Congressman Danny Davis, then-alderman Eugene Sawyer. There are people from his administration--Jacky Grimshaw and Grayson Mitchell--and some reporters who followed his story: Vernon Jarrett, Monroe Anderson, Gary Rivlin, Laura Washington (who became his press secretary). Plus a few ordinary voters, and a political opponent of the late mayor. Act One continues after the break.
Act Two. The present and the future. Thoughts about why there are no black mayors in the nation's largest cities today--New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. Plus a visit to a white Chicago ward, to see if ordinary voters have learned any tolerance in the last ten years since Washington's death.
Song: "At Last" Etta James
Ghetto Life 101
Recorded in Chicago, Illinois.
Premiered May 18, 1993, on WBEZ Chicago.
In March, 1993, LeAlan Jones, thirteen, and Lloyd Newman, fourteen, collaborated with public radio producer David Isay to create the radio documentary Ghetto Life 101, their audio diaries of life on Chicago's South Side. The boys taped for ten days, walking listeners through their daily lives: to school, to an overpass to throw rocks at cars, to a bus ride that takes them out of the ghetto, and to friends and family members in the community.
The candor in Jones and Newman's diaries brought listeners face to face with a portrait of poverty and danger and their effects on childhood in one of Chicago's worst housing projects. Like Vietnam War veterans in the bodies of young boys, Jones and Newman described the bitter truth about the sounds of machine guns at night and the effects of a thriving drug world on a community.
Ghetto Life 101 became one of the most acclaimed programs in public radio history, winning almost all of the major awards in American broadcasting, including: the Sigma Delta Chi Award, the Ohio State Award, the Livingston Award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards for Excellence in Documentary Radio and Special Achievement in Radio Programming, and others. Ghetto Life 101 was also awarded the Prix Italia, Europe's oldest and most prestigious broadcasting award. It has been translated into a dozen languages and has been broadcast worldwide.
Reporters: LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman / Producers: David Isay, LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman / Editor: Gary Covino / Engineer: Caryl Wheeler / Additional Engineering: Rick Karr / Funding provided by the Chicago Community Trust as part of WBEZ's Chicago Matters series.
And (Environmental) Justice for All
Robert Bullard, Ware Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University and Sheila Holt-Orsted discuss Holt-Orsted’s family’s fight against cancer and environmental racism as they participate in the nationwide Environmental Justice bus caravan tour taking place this week.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1991.2 .R33 2002
Excellent chapter 4 (pp. 63-88) Derek Vaillant, "Your Voice Cam in Last Night....but I thought it Sounded a Little Scared": Rural Radio Listening and "Talking Back" during the Progressive Era in Wisconisn, 1920-1932. University-run radio station wanted to program classical music, farmers (for whom the station was largely for) wanted to hear their (fiddler) music.
Call#: Van Pelt Library ML200.8.L7 M37 2004
2. "Making Friends with Music": Music Education in the Classroom and Concert Hall
3. "Symphonies Under the Stars": The Romance of the Hollywood Bowl
4. The Art of Pageants, Plays, and Dance
5. Leaving a Legacy: Early Recording of Indigenous, Classical, and Popular Music
6. "An Invisible Empire in the Air": Broadcasting the Classics during the Golden Age
7. Music on Film: Hollywood and the Conversion to Sound
Chapter 7 of Musical Metropolis is devoted to “Music on Film: Hollywood and the Conversion to Sound,” with the goal of demonstrating music’s vital role in creating “an atmosphere or mood in both nonanimated and animated films,” though to my mind Marcus’s argument amounts to, ‘films had music so music was vital.’ Marcus’s history of film music is concise and informative, however. Marcus shows that during the silent era most musical accompanied was drawn from preexisting European art music, and that the idea of composing music for films came only gradually. Marcus credits Warner Bros.’s 1926 The Jazz Singer, presented using Vitaphone, with “demonstrat[ing] with finality that audiences wanted to hear music on film (167). Many theaters kept their orchestras for the first few years of sound films, using them as entertainment between viewings. “In 1929 theaters were by far the largest employer of musicians in the country,” but the financial strain put on theaters by the Depression combined with sound film put an end to that.
While I find the explanation, “Because music had become an essential part of filmmaking, each of the studios formed a music department following the conversion to sound,” (168) wanting, Marcus’s account of the early music departments is informative, including figures for number of musicians employed and the typical pay around 1930. Marcus then turns to in depth biographical and musical discussions of the three leading symphonic film score writers, Max Steiner (the pioneer of letimotivc symphonic underscoring), Erich Wolfgang Korngold (the face of high-art respectability) and Alfred Newman (less educated but master of subtlety), and then to a discussion of music in animated films at Warners and Disney.
Call#: Van Pelt Library ML68 .C8 2005
Call#: Van Pelt Library TK6545.A1 G37 1994