Audio News for March 21, 2007

by | Mar 21, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Proposed Royalty Rates Could Kill Internet Radio – Webcasters, listeners and journalists have had an overwhelming negative response to the announcement from the judges at The Copyright Royalty Board that hugely increases the royalties online music broadcasters would have to pay record labels and performers, as well as put unreasonable demands on them to track down how many songs were heard by exactly how many listeners online. The stunning new rules are 20 times what stations have paid in the past. The new rates are the same for netcasting public radio stations as for commercial stations, which would effectively shut down just about all public radio on the Net. Plus they are retroactive back to January 2006, and are on a sliding scale that will double by 2010. The rates are so high they could even curtail major operations such as AOL Radio and RealNetworks. The royalty fees exceed 100% of most webcasters’ total revenues. What is the basis behind the ruling?  It comes from the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act, as well as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – which jelled the obsessive focus on DRM by the major labels and movie studios. They ruled that anything offered “digitally” automatically becomes a perfect copy and thus subject to piracy. The Copyright Royalty Board announced late yesterday it is considering “Motions for Rehearing” filed by various parties affected by the Board’s webcast royalty determination. Join the tens of thousands of fans who have signed the petition at

Rush in Development of Home Video Distribution
– Many firms are rushing to offer home networking products enabling multimedia content distribution in the home, driven by soaring needs for bandwidth.  Samsung is working with STMicroelectronics and Metalink Inc. on a set-top box to support HDTV over a wireless home network. Motorola has acquired a stake in a company making chips supporting wireless video distribution in the home. Ruckus Wireless has a wireless scheme for handling video distribution in the home over WiFi (boy, is that 2.4 mHz area ever getting crowded!)  A VP of Samsung’s project said “Our customers have shown great demand for high-definition multimedia content via IPTV and the ability to facilitate content using a Wireless LAN.”

Wal-Mart to Score Electronic Equipment on Environmental Impact – The world’s largest retailed and second-largest corporation has announced it will give its product suppliers scorecards to rate how environmentally sustainable their electronic equipment is. Wal-Mart will then score the products of customers, using such criteria as energy efficiency, upgradability, durability, and levels of hazardous materials used in the design and packaging. Wal-Mart is taking initiatives to be more environmentally-friendly. They pointed out that many electronics contain hazardous materials and are disposed of improperly.  Wal-Mart itself maintains year-round cell phone, computer and ink cartridge recycling programs.


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