SoundExchange, DiMA Continue Their Public Slap-Fight

Jul 19th, 2007 // Comment

radio.jpgWhen we last checked in on the Internet radio royalty debate, it looked like SoundExchange and the Digital Media Association (DiMA) were on the verge of coming to an understanding of sorts–last Thursday, SoundExchange said that as long as webcasters were better about reporting, and worked on a technologically feasible solution to stop stream-ripping (apparently, there are people out there who still do that. Who knew?), SoundExchange would allow radio stations to stream while new royalty rates were worked out. Or did they? A timeline provided by Listening Post outlines the back-and-forth the two organizations have had over the past few days:

Friday, 7/13: DiMA accepted SoundExchange’s “offer,” promising that as part of the deal, its member webcasters would “improve, streamline and make more efficient” royalty reporting, and would also “research, identify, review, and evaluate the prevalence of ‘stream-ripping’… and potential technologies which may be implemented by record companies and/or webcasters for purposes of limiting and/or eliminating stream-ripping.”

Monday, 7/16: SoundExchange denied having made the offer as DiMA apparently understood it, claiming that DiMA’s statement “[did] not accurately represent the terms offered by SoundExchange.”

Tuesday, 7/17: DiMA sent an letter to SoundExchange (posted below), accusing that organization of “revert[ing] back to making unrelated and unworkable demands as a condition for resolving the minimum fee issue.”

Wednesday, 7/18: DiMA issued a statement claiming that SoundExchange “backtracked” on its offer to cap minimum per-station fees. SoundExchange issued a letter in response, accusing DiMA of “misinformation, mischaracterization, and political maneuvering.”

The letters are available in their entirety on Listening Post; the only consolation is that this prolonged attempt to outspin each other is holding off the inevitable royalty-rate hike, thus keeping lots of stations in business for longer than they probably thought they’d be. (Which is probably causing a lot of people to hope that the fighting continues, considering that all this death-of-Internet-radio hoopla has resulted in higher hitcounts for online stations.)

DiMA and SoundExchange Trade Blows (Plus Weeklong Summary) [Listening Post]

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