Finisce in tribunale la playlist registrata dal satellite XM

Centocinquantamila dollari per ogni canzone “violata” e centocinquantamila per ogni violazione


da Radio Passioni

E’ la somma, potenzialmente astronomica, che la National Music Publishers Association chiederà a Xm Satellite Radio in una causa presentata oggi presso il tribunale federale di New York. L’acccusa? Il nuovo servizio proposto da XM, XM+MP3 non è un semplice servizio radiofonico. Con questa nuova opzione i brani ascoltati via satellite vengono memorizzati e possono essere organizzati in playlist, come su un lettore MP3. La NMPA sostiene che questo significa che non ci saranno “ascoltatori” di brani ma veri e propri proprietari di canzoni che non sono state equamente pagate. XM replica dicendo ovviamente che così non è, che le canzoni memorizzate non possono essere trasferite su computer o altri apparati, che “possederle” equivale a registrare dalla radio una audiocassetta per uso personale, cosa permessa dalla normativa. Ma i rappresentanti della NMPA non ne vogliono sapere: “un dispositivo del genere va ben al di là della semplice trasmissione.”
XM è già sotto i riflettori insieme a Sirius per la proposta di fusione tra i due operatori. Proprio in questi giorni Sirius aveva parlato di una proposta mirata a rendere più appetibile una eventuale futura situazione di monopolio sul mercato della radiofonia digitale satellitare. Una volta approvata la fusione, gli utenti del nuovo operatore potrebbero scegliere abbonamenti a costo ridotto che daranno loro la possibilità di ascoltare solo una manciata di canali tra i 300 e oltri che costituiranno l’offerta finale. Inoltre le due società giurano su montagne di Bibbie che non ci saranno aumenti di prezzo, che la fusione garantirà alla nuova azienda costi minori e quindi maggiori margini. Ora questa nuova tegola, che arriva un fronte assolutamente incapace di accettare le inevitabili conseguenze dell’evoluzione tecnologica e che invece di pensare a soluzioni eque per tutti si sforzano di ideare ogni giorno che passa qualche nuova e impraticabile barriera. Mi chiedo cosa succederà quando anche la radio terrestre (vedi le notizie sulla definitiva approvazione di HD Radio) sarà digitale e dispositivi come questo appena lanciato da XM invaderanno i supermercati. Chi denunceranno a quel punto gli avvocati della NMPA, gli inventori del transistor? E la loro strenua opposizione potrà avere delle implicazioni sullo sviluppo dell’industria della radio digitale? Internet non sono riusciti a fermarla, ma forse HD Radio e gli altri standard non avranno vita altrettanto facile.

Music Publishers Sue XM Radio
Over Songs Stored on Receivers
By SARAH MCBRIDE March 23, 2007
(Dal Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB117459929926145965.html)

Members of the National Music Publishers Association sued XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. over XM radios that blur the distinction between listening to a song and owning it. The suit revolves around receivers with the XM+MP3 service, which allows listeners to store songs they hear on XM and arrange them into playlists, much as listeners do with iPods. An XM subscriber can punch a button during any part of a song and record it, capturing the entire track.
The NMPA filed suit yesterday in federal court New York, charging XM with unlawfully reproducing and distributing copyrighted music without paying appropriate royalties. NMPA members are suing for damages of as much as $150,000 per song infringed and per infringement. The suit could aid groups such as local broadcasters who are working to derail XM’s attempt to merge with rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. Resolving the issue could become a bargaining chip in the merger talks, much as creating different pricing schedules for satellite service is emerging as a concession point in the merger.
The NMPA suit “is a negotiating tactic to gain an advantage in our ongoing business discussions,” a spokesman for XM Radio wrote in a statement. “XM pays royalties to writers and composers, who are also compensated by our device manufacturers.” The suit is similar to one filed last year in federal court by members of the Recording Industry Association of America. That suit, dealing with the royalty payments XM makes to music labels, is working its way through the court system; in January, a judge denied XM’s motion to dismiss it. At issue in the case filed Thursday are the rights XM pays to publishers and songwriters of the underlying musical composition. The fees the publishers and songwriters get for airplay of their songs are much lower than the payments the industry would get for outright sales of the songs.
XM has contended that songs captured and stored on their receivers aren’t true sales, in part because they stay on the radio only as long as the owner remains a subscriber; also, they can’t be moved, say onto a computer or another music device. Legally, XM has said, the recordings are little different from those taped onto cassettes from the radio for personal use, which is permitted by law. It also has said the devices encourage its subscribers to buy songs they like, allowing them to bookmark favorites and facilitating digital sales with its partner Napster Inc.; buying the song allows users to transfer it to computers or other music players. XM has said that it is a big booster of the music industry, playing lots of new songs and always showing the song and artist names on electronic displays on its radios. The music industry disagrees, saying users get to use and store the songs recorded with the devices just as if they owned them. “These devices go well beyond a radio transmission,” says David Israelite, president and chief executive of the NMPA. “They replace the need to buy music.”
Last year, XM rival Sirius faced similar problems with the record labels over one of its radios with storage capabilities, but settled, agreeing to pay a small amount per device sold to the labels. But the music publishers and songwriters say Sirius hasn’t reached agreement with them, although they hope the lawsuit against XM spurs an agreement, Mr. Israelite says. With the suits, the music industry is signaling that there are limits to how much it is willing to tolerate devices that record music from the radio, particularly when it comes to the devices’ ability to sort songs. Both suits underscore how technology creates new problems for copyright holders, who are trying to fight off widespread music piracy, even as it creates new business opportunities. The outcome of the case could affect how storage works on future digital radio sets or emerging distribution services.

Diritto d’autore tra personalized Radio e reputation

Il commento che segue, estratto dalla newsletter specializzata Audiographics avrebbe potuto tranquillamente essere postato insieme alla precedente notizia sulla causa tra l’associazione dei musicisti americani e XM. La questione è ancora una volta la radio “personalizzata”, resa possibile da servizi Internet come Last.fm, Pandora e, adesso, Slacker. E di fatto realizzata anche da XM con il suo ricevitore/player MP3/gestore di playlist. La personalizzazione della radio, la possibilità per l’ascoltatore di assumere il controllo della situazione, è uno degli aspetti più intriganti della cultura della musica digitale (e non solo della musica a dire il vero, si guardi al fenomeno del podcasting nella sua trascinante globalità). E’ una cosa che fa paura al mondo broadcast convenzionale e unidirezionale. E’ una cosa che insieme alla infinita replicabilità di una copia digitale semina il panico tra autori, editori, discografici. Audiographics sostiene che prima o poi anche i broadcaster dovranno cominciare a parlare di offerte personalizzate. La radio digitale terrestre potrebbe essere un valido supporto per certe strategie. Ma a quel punto che succede? Come reagiranno quelli che ancora controllano, o credono di controllare, i contenuti?

“Personalized” Radio is Industry’s Next Hurdle

Let’s place a bet. You’re the bookmaker. What odds will you give me that at least one terrestrial radio station will start airing a positioning statement similar to “10X.3 – Personalized Rock Radio, your way”?
Continuing with our little game, let’s say that you, still as the bookmaker, just found out there’s a new internet radio service that allows a listener to “enter an artist in the search window to create a station based on music from that artist and from similar artists.” This service is Wi-Fi based and portable (like an iPod). And it’s just another in a growing list of internet radio stations that “personalize” playlists. Are you going to give me the same odds against the forementioned bet? This is just a guess, but after the trend to tell listeners a station was on “shuffle” so soon after iPod released its “Shuffle,” I’d say look for the “personalized” references from terrestrial radio sooner rather than later. Slacker has been introduced, and its “personalize” feature is the “shuffle” for 2007. Personalized radio is the latest internet radio industry buzzword. The concept goes much deeper than can be explained here, but it boils down to listeners telling a station what type of music they want. Over a short time, the listener narrows down what’s played for them to songs they believe are all hot tunes.
Slacker is the latest in personalized internet radio. Last FM is out there along with Pandora and a few others. The list is growing, and folks are tuning in because it gives “control” to the user. About Slacker, it does do a few extra neat tricks such as getting internet radio stations away from the computer – via a Wi-Fi refreshed portable unit that fits in your pocket. Now that personalized radio is becoming portable, look for these internet radio stations to start gaining audience, quickly, especially with youth. Read about Slacker through this link. Then start thinking how it’s nearly a sure bet that we’ll be hearing broadcast stations start making some reference to personlizing the station or listening experience. So, here’s the bet now. What are the odds that in the next few years the perception that a playlist tailored to your taste will be the main reason a person chooses a station? My thoughts, pretty good. And, getting back to our earlier bet about broadcast radio, any takers that we’ll start hearing personalized references on terrestrial radio within two months?

Direttamente riferibile alla questione dei contenuti personalizzati c’è questo altro commento di Audiographics sulle recenti polemiche a proposito delle tariffe che i detentori di copyright vorrebbero far pagare alle radio su Internet per la diffusione dei brani. Secondo Audiographics il discorso andrebbe esteso a quella che su Internet e nel mondo digitale è la materia più preziosa di tutte: la notorietà. La cosa che può spingere verso un artista poco conosciuto la folla dei consumatori multimediali. Anche ipotizzando di guadagnare il giusto, è la notorietà, la reputazione che può farti ricco col tempo. Secondo Audiographics a questo punto diventa opinabile (una questione da uovo e gallina) stabilire chi sta facendo un favore a chi. La radio che trasmettendo un brano poco conosciuto crea notorietà per l’autore? L’autore che riempiendo i palinsesti delle radio con buona musica attira nuove revenues pubblicitarie? La casa discografica che trae vantaggio dalla stessa notorietà generata da una Internet radio che paga la stessa casa discografica per poter diffondere i brani? Hmm. Uovo o gallina mi pare che qui ci sia sempre qualcuno che ci guadagna due volte… E non è quello che suona la chitarra o apre il Web stream. L’altro giorno ho seguito la diretta (Web) di Corriere.it con quell’angelo in terra di Giovanni Allevi. Alla domanda, che ne pensi della pirateria?, il pianista ha raccontato di un suo fan che gli ha scritto una mail per confessargli di aver scaricato un suo disco da una rete P2P e di essere rimasto talmente colpito dalla sua musica da decidere di “fare ammenda”. «Ha comprato tutti i miei dischi per regalarli agli amici, non si è più perso un concerto. Se la pirateria è questa, viva la pirateria.» Non si chiama pirateria, è una macchina che produce reputazione. Piaccia o non piaccia è il concetto di disco, di casa discografica a essere saltato per aria. Come sistema per distribuire la musica, il disco ha funzionato bene per cento anni, ora non funziona più. Ma sono solo cavoli di chi i dischi si ostina a produrli, o che si ostina a vendere le registrazioni digitali come se fossero i cilindri di cera di Edison. La musica, i musicisti, gli ascoltatori, le stazioni radio, analogiche, digitali, via satellite, via Internet, i podcaster, lo hanno capito da un pezzo. Le case discografiche e le associazioni a tutela dei diritti d’autore (che somigliano ogni giorno di più a inutili e costosissimi partiti politici) no. Più presto si abitueranno meno duro sarà il risveglio.

“Chicken or the Egg?” for Internet Radio Industry

This is just beginning to surface as online radio stations play unsigned acts, and it’s a question closest to the one about “the chicken or the egg.” Does an artist gain recognition from producing a great record, or is it the exposure radio gives a great record that generates recognition? I recently had a discussion with one person who believes all recording artists should be paid by any radio station that uses their music. It’s a concept which I have trouble accepting, and here’s why: Done right, radio is much more than music. There are many elements besides the songs that give a station – online or broadcast – its personality. Given that most similarly-formatted stations play the same songs, a high ranking station gets there because of what’s played after the music stops.
A song is introduced to the audience in similar manner regardless of the station, though. Rotation is slow to start. Increased exposure comes only after it’s proven the audience likes it. This person who voiced concern that all artists should be compensated for any music played argues that all music has value; it attracts an audience. (Mentioned here the other day: “What is a song worth, and why should a popular song be worth the same as one that’s only so-so?”) Let’s twist this into reality. A radio station provides the platform that gives musicians a chance to be heard. It places their product in front of a group of people. This is defined as advertising. Bottom line is that if acts want their songs heard, they may go to the record labels in hopes to get backing under reasonable terms; or they can provide their music to online radio stations in exchange for the exposure the stations offer.
So is it the chicken or the egg?
Good numbers do not come solely from playing good music. There are costs to building an audience that negate the money due an artist before their song is accepted by the public. What’s packaged around the songs creates the relationship with a radio audience. It’s the relationship that keeps people coming back to the same station – and that has value too! Independent artists can be made into stars if the online radio industry organizes an effort to distribute quality music. This will take time, but it will also take a lot less money than paying the new royalty rates.
Check RRadioMusic. It lists artists who have signed waivers giving radio stations the right to play their music in exchange for the exposure it brings. These musicians realize they must advertise their work to gain recognition, and they’ve chosen to pay for that advertising by trading royalty payments for play. If the public starts accepting a band’s music, royalty payments are due. Although, who judges this is up in the air for now. (My suggestion would be that the musicians contact SoundExchange. They will get a response only after SoundExchange recognizes there’s a market for that band’s music.) The above describes willing sellers meeting willing buyers in a free market system – exactly what the Copyright Royalty Board declared as its must-meet criteria, which molded their latest decision. Chicken or egg? If online radio stations start playing independent artists’ music and making their own stars, the chicken wins.

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Lifegate, Roveda: siamo l’opposto di una radio commerciale. Ma non siamo comunitari

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