MOST Educational & Community Webcasts SAVED! More Work Remains!
H.R. 1417 passes!
Thanks for your support!
Due to a number of factors, including your actions, H.R. 1417 passed!! This bill is a GREAT step forward for EC stations in a number of ways!
First, it eliminates the agreement signed by one of five organizations that would extend the rates and recordkeeping 'waiver', but reduce the legal protections that stations need.
Second, it extends the concessions we won through 2005!
Third, and most importantly, it changes the way rates and terms concerning webcasting are set in the future by reducing the costs associated with participating in the process of setting rates! This helps to level the playing field. While the big four (was five) record labels still outweigh most in terms of fiscal resources to fight for a change in the rates and terms, the stations now can at least, in many cases, be present during the arbitration and have their voices heard!!!
THANK YOU for supporting SOS!
With your support, we have helped to save EC stations with new laws not once, but TWICE!
As the below suggests, there is more work to be done. We will leave the text below for now as an historical reference, but we will change the site in the near future to focus on these important isssues in the near future.
Please take a moment to use the resources below to thank your elected representatives!
Historical reference area!
Educational stations should visit CBI and community stations should visit NFCB.
This page had been dedicated to four specific issues with respect to Educational and Community stations that webcast music.
Content Restrictions and
Requirements (such as the display of recordings aired)placed unfairly on stations.
Due to the support and ACTIONS of the people that visit this website, we were able to bring to bear upon the Congress of the United States of America enough pressure to effect a change in the webcasting rates! Thank you!!!
However, there remains work to be done!
Because the settlement over rates addressed only the rates and partially covered the other three items.
As this page has reported, there is a fifth item that needs to be addressed and that is how the rates are negotiated. The US Congress has heard US on this issue as well! The House of Representative recently passed a resolution (HR 1417) that addresses the concerns we have raised! SOS, CBI and IBS fully support HR 1417! This bill would reduce the costs of participation in the fee setting process by #MILLION$, thus allowing Educational and Community stations to participate in the rate setting process! It would also allow the current rate structure for webcasting to be extended in length at the discretion of the involved parties.
This EXTREMELY IMPORTANT legisilation has been approved by the House of Representatives and needs to be passed by the Senate before it is sent to the President.
What about other items on the agenda?
Provided that HR 1417 passes, there are other legislative agenda items outlined above. Let's take them one at a time.
Recordkeeping - There are two thoughts to consider here. First, the settlement reached by CBI, NRB and IBS addresses the issue of rates and effectively pushes the question of recordkeeping on to 'task force'. In short, this means that stations that opt in to the CBI, NRB, RIAA/SE and IBS agreement have agreed to pay a fee instead of sending a report about each song played. In 2003, the fee was $50. In 2004 the fee is $25.
The 2003 settlement does nothing to help stations beyond 2004, even if this legislation becomes law.
CBI formed the task force required by the settlement and is working with other parties to reach a reasonable means of recordkeeping. The goal is to require EC stations to do nothing more than is currently required of them and at little or no additional cost.
Bottom Line. In any correspondence with Congress, please encourage them to allow the task force to complete its charge, even if it extends beyond the Copyright Office time table for the completion of recordkeeing regulations.
Content Restrictions. What are they? See below (in basic terms this amounts to the abridgement of the first amendment!).
To say that nothing has been done on this front would be a lie. SOS has developed a proposed change in the law that addresses this concern. We have not acted on the proposed language to date for political reasons. Currently, we are evaluating the pros and cons of suggesting an amendment HR 1417. Be sure to check back before 3/15/04 for our recommendations!
SOS realizes that some of the requirements will not be waived for EC stations, we do seek a conressional approval for a delayed implementation for EC stations. This is based on their fiscal and resource limitations.
What does all of this mean? It means that your decision to visit this page in the near future will have a profound impact on the future of EC stations ability to webcast in the future. Please come back to this page before 3/15/04 and learn how you can make a difference!
The remainder of the content on this page is left for historical perspective.
Specific information concerning this settlement is available on the settlement page. Please note that there is no requirement to belong to any organization to take advantage of this deal, but stations that are webcasting must "opt-in" before October 15, 2003. Any non-commercial station that has not previously webcast, it must opt in within 45 days of when it starts webcasting.
Thanks so much for your continued support! There is still work to be done. This site will be revamped to address remaining issues.
The content restrictions remain and must be removed. They limit expression and educational opportunities. What are the content restrictions? Webcasters...
May not play in any three hour period more than three songs from one recording.
May not play more than two selections in a row from a recording.
May not play in any three-hour period more than four songs from one artist.
May not play more than three in a row from an artist's box set.
The requirement to display the artist, song title and album title are still in place. This means that stations must present this information to the end user. Many stations don't have this capability due to limited resources, but could in time. The stations need a waiver of this requirement until they gain the resources to meet the legal obligation.
Help pass HR 1417. This is a new proposed law that would make it easier for EC stations to enter into arbitration, if necessary, when the current settlement expires. This law needs your support!
How do we make these changes? This is where you become involved.
In the coming days and weeks we will outline how we want to proceed to solve these issues. To become actively involved in the discussion, please email
to join the email list. If you want to simply take part in actions and forgo the discussions, request to be put on the action only list.
Your name and address will NOT be sold under any circumstances!
While some may say the remaining issues are nominal, the stations say they are substantial and the Educational and Community stations deserve your support! If they can't display the artist, song title and album title they could be denied a license to webcast! Stations must observe the content restrictions which will result in restricted abilities resulting in the inability to you hear the programming of these unique stations. Talk about control of media! Do you want some artificial limitations to determine what you hear? If not, join the SOS effort!
HR 1417 needs your support!
Congress is considering legislation (see the current draft) that will reform the rate setting process, but not the rates themselves or the basis used to determine the rates. Below is some text that we suggest that you send to your Representative and Senators TODAY!
HR 1417 is an important step in the direction of correcting the process that sets rates for webcasting. Unfortunately, this legislation does not address the problems of educational and community stations.
These stations face three problems with respect to the status quo.
The willing buyer/willing seller standard for setting webcasting rates must be changed to a fairness standard.
The non-profit stations need a separate proceeding that comes after the commercial entities. This is likely to lead to a fair rate structure and a further reduction in the costs associated with the arbitration process for these non-profit entities.
The content restrictions and other statutory requirements are also prohibitive to webcasting by educational and community stations. They also prohibit many educational opportunities. The non-profit stations should be exempted from these statutory requirements.
In order to address the issues above appropriately, it is imperative that educational and community stations be afforded a separate route for rate determination and recordkeeping from commercial entities. This structure is already in place for musical works under section 118 and needs to be paralleled with respect to sound recordings in sections 112 and 114 for educational and community webcasters. The statutory restrictions on educational and community webcasters must also be removed or relaxed. With out these changes, the future on Internet radio is doomed to be controlled by commercial entities.
Sign your fax or e-mail and include your address.
Contact info for your representatives on in DC can be found via Congress.Org by entering your zip code in the box below. Be sure to send a second copy to the people on the 'most influential' lists below!
Now is the time for stations to continue to post the SOS logo on their web page to keep
listeners aware of the issues. Listeners should continue to write in support of Educational and Community stations.
To all those that have been here before, thank you for your support and your efforts to make our voices heard. Congress has listened and acted. Now need action on the remaining issues.
For more information, contact Will Robedee at 713-348-2935.
If you have been added to the SOS discussion list and want out, you have two options.
1. Ask to be moved to the action list. This list will alert you to a request for action. It will not allow discussion of the issues.
2. Ask to be removed from all future mailings. Before you do this, we ask that you consider option 1. Option 1 will be used only for action requests and updates, no discussion.
All requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be specific and request option 1 or option 2 in the subject line.