Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More B.S. From S.X.

The May 22nd SoundExchange (SX) press release appears to be little more than PR fluff. No substance, just a misdirection to make it seem like they are working things out with webcasters. "No crisis here, move along, nothing to see..."

SX is trying to slow an effective and grassroots effort with this acceptable-looking-at-face value but short-term deal with small webcasters.

Their press release says, "offered to extend to small webcasters through 2010 the terms of prior legislation known as the Small Webcaster Settlement Act (SWSA) with some minor modifications."

These minor modifications include a revenue cap and a usage cap, details of which are not provided. Both of those are likely to be deal-breakers -- if this was an honest proposal it would not contain such vagueries, and would have been presented directly to small webcasters (as their other press releases claim) and not in the form of a puff-piece press release.

While this deal from SoundExchage looks like good news at first glance, it is not. Small webcasters will find ourselves in this same position in just two short years, and without the momentum we have now with our making headlines and making it's way through Congress. Also, in 2009, SX will be able to say "Look, Congress, we worked it out in 2007, we'll work it out again now, no need for you to get involved" further diminishing the effects of all the hard work that has gone into drafting and working The Internet Radio Equality Act (H.R. 2060).

Personally, I believe we need to let our current momentum carry us forward. Kurt Hanson (of Accuradio) has an interesting take on the press release here.

Funny how just a few short weeks ago SoundExchange gloated over their CRB victory. They called it a "fair" and unbiased ruling, yet now they are offering (albeit very temporarily, and with undisclosed modifications) something many small webcasters proposed in the first place. It walks like B.S. It talks like B.S. ...

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