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Thursday, June 10, 2004

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYEconomic Arrangements among Small Webcasters and Third Parties and Their Effect on Royalties

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Economic Arrangements among Small Webcasters and Third Parties and Their Effect on Royalties
"a
GAO
United States General Accounting Office
Report to Congressional CommitteesJune 2004INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYEconomic Arrangements among Small Webcasters and Third Parties and Their Effect on Royalties
GAO-04-700
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-700.
To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above. For more information, contact Anu Mittal, (202) 512-3841, mittala@gao.gov. Highlights of GAO-04-700, a report to congressional committees June 2004
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Economic Arrangements among Small
Webcasters and Third Parties and Their
Effect on Royalties
Small webcasters have a variety of economic arrangements with third
parties, the most common being agreements with bandwidth providers and
advertisers. Almost all of the webcasters that we interviewed reported
arrangements with bandwidth providers, and many reported arrangements with advertisers. Less commonly reported arrangements included those with
merchandise suppliers and companies that help small webcasters manage or
obtain advertising for their Web sites, such as by inserting ads on the Web
site or into the webcast itself or selling advertising based on the aggregate
audiences of multiple webcasters.
Third-party economic arrangements have had a minimal effect to date on royalties owed by small webcasters to copyright owners. Of the 27 small webcasters we interviewed that had agreed to the terms of the small webcaster agreement and provided us with financial data, 19 reported revenue and expense estimates below the levels that would result in royalty
payments greater than the minimum fee. We found limited evidence to
suggest that small webcasters may not be reporting revenues and expenses
as required by the small webcaster agreement. Specifically, 2 of the 13 small webcasters who reported receiving free or reduced-price items did not
report the value of these items as revenue for calculating royalties. However,
the data we obtained in our survey may not reflect conditions that could
develop as the webcasting industry matures. According to industry analysts,
revenues of small webcasters are likely to increase as they attract more
listeners and advertisers rely more on the Internet to reach customers.
Types of Economic Arrangements with Third Parties
The emergence of webcasting as a
means of transmitting audio and
video content over the Internet has
led to concerns about copyright protection and the payment of royalties to those who own the recording copyrights. Arriving at
an acceptable rate for calculating
royalties has been particularly challenging. Under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002,
small commercial webcasters
reached an agreement with copyright owners that included the
option of paying royalties for the period of October 28, 1998, to December 31, 2004, on the basis of
a percentage of their revenues,
expenses, a combination of both,
or a minimum fee rather than paying the royalty rates set by the
Librarian of Congress.
During debate on the act, copyright owners raised concerns that small
webcasters might have arrangements with other parties,
such as advertisers, that could produce revenues or expenses that might not be included in their
royalty calculations. In this context, the Congress mandated that GAO, in consultation with the Register of Copyrights, prepare a
report on the (1) economic
arrangements between small webcasters and third parties and
(2) effect of those arrangements on the royalties that small webcasters might owe copyright owners.
Page i GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Contents
Letter 1
Results in Brief 4
Background 5
Small Webcasters Enter into a Variety of Economic Arrangements
with Third Parties 11
Available Data Suggest the Effects of Economic Relationships
between Small Webcasters and Third Parties on Royalties Have
Been Minimal to Date 16
Appendixes
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology 21
Appendix II: Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters 24
Appendix III: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments 38
GAO Contacts 38
Acknowledgments 38
Tables Table 1: Summary of the Royalty Rates and Fees for Small
Webcasters 10
Table 2: Basis for Royalty Obligations for Two Time Periods 17
Figures Figure 1: Webcasting Transmission Process 6
Figure 2: Traditional Radio Broadcasting Transmission Process 6
Figure 3: Location of Small Webcasters That Signed the Small
Webcaster Agreement 11
Figure 4: Methods of Selling Advertising Space 12
Figure 5: Types of Advertising Currently Used by Webcasters 13
Figure 6: Sources Providing at Least 10 Percent of Webcasting
Revenue 14
Figure 7: Types of Economic Arrangements with Third Parties 15
Figure 8: Change in Audience Size among Webcasters 19
Contents
Page ii GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Abbreviations
CARP Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel
DMCA Digital Millennium Copyright Act
GAO General Accounting Office
This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. However, because this work may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this material separately.
Page 1 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548
A
June 1, 2004LetterThe Honorable Orrin G. Hatch
Chairman
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on the Judiciary
United States SenateThe Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Chairman
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on the Judiciary
House of RepresentativesThe Internet has led to a new generation of content providers, commonly known as “webcasters,” who transmit digitized audio or video works over the World Wide Web.1 The emergence of this new industry raised concerns among record companies and performers because their works could be widely disseminated, which might result in diminished sales of their copyrighted works through record albums, compact discs, and other prerecorded formats. To address these concerns and to support the emergence of new digital technologies, the Congress extended limited copyright protection to performances of sound recordings being digitally transmitted. Webcasting consists of several steps: assembling the recordings to be digitally transmitted over the Internet, translating them into digital format, and then delivering performances of the recordings to listeners through an Internet connection. The audio quality of recordings that are webcast depends on the bandwidth used—the number of bits of information transmitted per second. Higher bandwidth results in better audio quality and also allows a greater number of simultaneous listeners. Webcasters typically contract with other entities (commonly referred to as third parties), such as bandwidth providers, to supply different webcasting services. In addition, webcasters may contract with other third parties, 1This report discusses the webcasting of audio works, specifically sound recordings. Sound
recordings are the actual sounds of a performance of a musical work and record companies
typically hold the copyright to them.
Page 2 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
such as companies who wish to advertise products on a webcaster’s Web site, to obtain revenue that can help offset the costs associated with webcasting and return a profit to the webcaster.A copyright is a form of legal protection provided to the authors of creative works, such as music and literature, that generally gives the owner certain exclusive rights.2 These rights give the copyright owners control over their works—usually in exchange for compensation, known as a royalty. Generally, copyright owners and parties seeking to use copyrighted works voluntarily negotiate the rates at which royalties will be paid. However, the Congress has, in some cases, established a process under which the Librarian of Congress sets the royalty rates. In 1995 and 1998, two key pieces of legislation gave copyright owners the right to control performances of sound recordings when they are digitally transmitted and gave webcasters the automatic right to use the recordings in certain circumstances in exchange for the payment of royalties under a statutory license.3 The royalties were to be set at either a voluntarily negotiated rate or at a rate set by the Librarian of Congress, based upon hearings before a Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel and the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights. However, arriving at the specific royalty rates that small commercial webcasters4 should pay to owners for the use of their copyrighted recordings has been challenging. In 2002, the panel recommended royalty rates for webcasters that the Librarian subsequently rejected. The Librarian established lower rates that proved controversial to both copyright owners and to small webcasters. Copyright owners believed that the new rates were too low, while small webcasters believed that they were still too high, and small webcasters sought legislative relief to lower the rates further. In response, the Congress enacted the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002, which
2Copyright owners have the right to reproduce the copyrighted work, prepare derivative
works based upon the copyrighted work, distribute copies or phonorecords of the
copyrighted work, perform the copyrighted work publicly, display the copyrighted work
publicly, and since 1995, in the case of sound recordings, perform the copyrighted work
publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
3A statutory license is a license provided by copyright law, as opposed to one that is
voluntarily granted by individual copyright owners. The license allows those webcasters
making noninteractive transmissions to use copyrighted works provided they pay the
statutory rates and adhere to certain programming and reporting requirements.
4Small commercial webcasters are defined as those who earned less than $500,000 in 2003.
Throughout this report we refer to small commercial webcasters as small webcasters.
Page 3 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
allowed small webcasters and copyright owners to enter into an agreement that provides for the payment of royalties based on a percentage of revenues, expenses, both revenue and expenses, or a minimum fee, for two time periods—the historical period, which began on October 28, 1998, and ended on December 31, 2002, and 2003 through 2004.During the debate on the Small Webcaster Settlement Act, copyright owners also raised concerns about the economic arrangements that small webcasters have with third parties, arguing that these arrangements could produce revenues or expenses that might not be included in the calculation of royalties that the small webcasters owed to them. To provide more information on such arrangements, the Congress mandated that GAO, in consultation with the Register of Copyrights, prepare a report on (1) the economic arrangements between small webcasters and third parties and (2) the effect of those arrangements on royalties that are based on a percentage of the webcaster’s revenues or expenses.As required by the act, we coordinated with officials from the U.S. Copyright Office throughout the course of our work and incorporated their technical and other comments into the report as appropriate. To respond to the objectives of this study, we met with officials from organizations that represent small webcasters, the Recording Industry Association of America,5 and SoundExchange.6 We interviewed advertising agency staff, a bandwidth provider, and industry analysts. We also reviewed relevant copyright laws, regulations, and articles. In addition, we conducted structured telephone interviews with 58 small webcasters located throughout the country—30 that had agreed to the terms of the agreement reached under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act and 28 that had not.7 In conducting our interviews, we requested the same revenue and expense data that these small webcasters were required to submit to copyright owners under the small webcaster agreement. Twenty-seven of the 30 small webcasters that had agreed to the terms of the small webcaster agreement provided us with estimates of their revenues and expenses.
5The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade group that represents the U.S.
recording industry.
6SoundExchange is a nonprofit organization designated by the Librarian of Congress, at the
request of both copyright owners and webcasters, to receive royalty payments from
webcasters and distribute them to copyright owners and performers.
7Throughout this report we will refer to the agreement reached by copyright owners and
small webcasters as the small webcaster agreement.
Page 4 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Because the U.S. Copyright Office does not enforce copyrights or collect financial data, we did not have access to the financial records of the small webcasters that we interviewed and thus could not verify the accuracy of the revenue and expense data they provided to us. Nor did we attempt to determine whether these small webcasters had paid the royalties based on those estimates. Appendix I provides additional details on our scope and methodology.We conducted our work from May 2003 through May 2004 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.Results in BriefSmall webcasters have a variety of economic arrangements with third parties, such as bandwidth providers, businesses seeking or selling advertising space, and merchandise providers. Virtually all of the webcasters that we interviewed—the 30 that had agreed to the royalty terms in the small webcaster agreement and the 28 that had not—reported having arrangements with bandwidth providers from 1998 through 2003. Forty webcasters reported arrangements for selling advertising space either directly or through advertising firms. However, advertising sales have remained low, according to industry analysts, in part because of the collapse of the high technology business sector since 2000 and the relative novelty of the Internet as an advertising medium. Twenty-five, or 44 percent, of the small webcasters that we contacted also reported arrangements with businesses to sell merchandise, such as T-shirts and coffee mugs, through their Web sites. Less commonly reported arrangements included those with companies that help small webcasters manage or obtain advertising for their Web sites such as by inserting ads on the Web site or into the webcast itself or selling advertising based on the aggregate audiences of multiple webcasters. Data obtained from the small webcasters that agreed to the terms of the small webcaster agreement suggest that the overall effect of economic arrangements between small webcasters and third parties on royalties owed to copyright owners has been minimal to date. Of the 30 small webcasters we interviewed that had agreed to the terms of the small webcaster agreement, 27 provided us with financial data. Nineteen of the 27 reported revenue and expense estimates that were below the levels that would result in royalty payments at an amount greater than the minimum fee for either or both of the time periods for which payments were to be made. The remaining 8 owed royalties that exceeded the minimum fee. In addition, 2 of the 13 small webcasters that reported receiving free or
Page 5 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
reduced-price goods or services did not report the free service they received as revenue in their calculations of royalties. However, these data may not be reflective of conditions that may develop as the industry matures. Specifically, revenues and expenses of small webcasters might increase as they attract more listeners, and advertising opportunities and rates may also increase as the webcasting industry matures and advertisers rely more on the Internet as part of their advertising efforts, according to industry analysts.BackgroundThe advent of the Internet and digital transmission of sound recordings through personal computers has revolutionized the music industry and created a new way to transmit music directly to listeners. Although personal computers have been available since the late 1970s and music in digital form since the early 1980s, it was opening up the Internet to commercial activity in 1992 that set the stage for webcasting. In webcasts, sound recordings, such as records and compact discs, and live performances can be transmitted to listeners over the Internet. The popularity of webcasting is growing, with the number of listeners tripling over the past 3 years. Webcasting and traditional radio broadcasting follow essentially the same steps to deliver music to listeners (see figs. 1 and 2). Many webcasters and traditional radio stations deliver music to listeners at no charge.8 A key difference, however, concerns the number of potential listeners. In traditional radio broadcasting, a station’s signal is available to any number of listeners within range of the transmitter. In contrast, the potential audience for a webcast is anyone in the world whose computer is equipped with a media player.
8Some webcasters and radio stations offer subscription services that deliver music to
listeners in exchange for a fee. The focus of this report is nonsubscription webcasts.
Page 6 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Figure 1: Webcasting Transmission Process Figure 2: Traditional Radio Broadcasting Transmission ProcessWebcasting, also called Internet streaming, is the process of transmitting digitized audio or video content over the Internet. The content can originate from live performances, records, compact discs, or other prerecorded formats. A webcast consists of several steps. The webcasters must first assemble the music that will be transmitted and then translate it
Page 7 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
into one or more digital formats. Music that is not streamed “live” must be stored so that it is available to individuals who use their personal computers to access the Web site created by the webcaster. The final step is delivering the music through an Internet connection. Choices about the audio quality of the transmitted music and the size of the audience affect the webcaster’s operation costs. The quality of the resulting music depends on the bandwidth—the number of bits of information transmitted per second—used by the webcaster. Higher bandwidth results in better sound quality of the transmitted music and allows a greater number of simultaneous listeners. The size of the Internet connection to the webcaster’s server and the choice of bandwidth determine the potential size of the audience. Although in its most basic form webcasting can be a relatively inexpensive “do-it-yourself” operation using a minimum of two computers and an Internet connection, the trade-off is lower sound quality and smaller audience size. Alternatively, webcasters that hope to reach a large audience with high-quality music frequently contract with one or more third parties to provide the different steps. Such third parties can provide a single service or some combination of services, including translating the music into digital form and adjusting bandwidth needs to accommodate the number of simultaneous listeners. Some may also provide data on the number and location of listeners. Because webcasters frequently deliver their music at no charge to listeners, webcasters may contract with other third parties, such as companies that wish to advertise products on the webcaster’s Web site, to obtain revenue that can help offset the costs associated with webcasting and return a profit to the webcaster.The Internet and the ability to digitally transmit sound recordings have created opportunities for the recording companies that typically own the copyrights in sound recordings to reach an unprecedented number of listeners. Accompanying these opportunities are challenges for copyright owners to maintain control over, and be compensated for, the use of their copyrighted recordings. In the United States, the owners of copyrights in sound recordings have not historically enjoyed the exclusive right to control or authorize public performances of their recordings. Traditionally these copyright owners generated royalties by selling copies of the recordings in the form of albums, cassette tapes, and compact discs. Although radio broadcasters pay royalties to publishers and writers for use
Page 8 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
of a musical work, they were not obligated to pay record companies for the use of sound recordings.9Two key pieces of legislation gave copyright owners the right to control performances of sound recordings when they are digitally transmitted and gave webcasters the automatic right to use the recordings under certain circumstances in exchange for the payment of royalties under a statutory license. The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act, enacted in 1995, granted copyright owners the exclusive right to control or authorize the use of recordings when they are digitally transmitted but not, for example, when they are transmitted for use as background music in a restaurant.10 In the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Congress expanded the scope of this digital transmission right.11 Among other things, the DMCA specifies that webcasters may operate under an automatic license to use copyrighted works at either a voluntarily negotiated rate or at a rate recommended by a panel known as a Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), subject to review by the Librarian of Congress.12 These rates, retroactive to October 1998, were to apply through December 2002. The act called for this procedure to be repeated every 2 years as the webcasting industry developed, though it could be extended by agreement between the copyright owners and webcasters.However, the legislation created conflict between record companies and webcasters. The DMCA provided the opportunity to negotiate royalty rates independently. But after negotiations between owners and webcasters broke down, the Library of Congress convened a CARP to resolve the issue and determine the appropriate rates. The CARP held hearings for 6 months, during which both the copyright owners and webcasters presented their cases. In February 2002, the CARP issued a royalty rate recommendation. 9The sound recording and the underlying musical work are separate works, each of which is
protected by its own copyright. Both webcasters and traditional radio broadcasters are
responsible for paying royalties to owners of copyrights in the underlying musical works.
10Pub. L. No. 104-39, 109 Stat. 336 (1995).
11Pub. L. No. 105-304, 112 Stat. 2860 (1998).
12The Librarian of Congress is empowered to review CARP decisions and must accept its
recommendations for setting rates and terms, unless the Librarian, based upon the
recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, determines that the CARP’s
recommendations are arbitrary or contrary to law.
Page 9 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
In June 2002, the Librarian rejected some of the webcasting rates recommended by the CARP and issued a regulation that set royalty rates for Internet transmissions. Both record companies and webcasters contested the Librarian’s rates and sought relief in the courts. Some small webcasters believed that the rates set by the Librarian were too high, arguing that they would have to close their operations because they could not pay the rates set by the Librarian and that these rates would put an end to the promise of webcasting. Copyright owners believed the rates were too low and did not reflect the true market value of their music, causing them to, in essence, subsidize the webcasters. Moreover, they argued that royalties are simply another cost of doing business, like buying bandwidth, and webcasters that could not afford to pay them should not be operating.In response to these concerns, the Congress passed the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002.13 The act did not set new royalty rates but instead allowed small webcasters and copyright owners another opportunity to negotiate an agreement on royalty rates for the period beginning October 28, 1998, through December 31, 2004.14 These negotiated rates were to be based on a percentage of revenue or expenses, or a combination of both; were to include a minimum fee; and were to apply in lieu of rates set by the Librarian of Congress (see table 1). This option was available to any small webcaster that met the agreed-upon eligibility requirements. In December 2002 the U.S. Copyright Office published the resulting agreement under the act.15 The agreement contained specific guidance for webcasters to follow in determining the specific revenue and expense categories that were to be included in the calculation of royalties due to copyright owners. The guidance defines revenues and expenses in ways compatible with generally accepted accounting principles and income tax reporting.
13Pub. L. No. 107-321, 116 Stat. 2780 (2002).
14Under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act, SoundExchange was permitted to enter into
agreements on behalf of all copyright owners and performers. The small webcasters were
represented by Voice of Webcasters, a coalition of small commercial webcasters.
1567 Fed. Reg. 78510 (2002).
Page 10 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Table 1: Summary of the Royalty Rates and Fees for Small WebcastersSource: GAO.Note: Small webcasters owe royalties based on a percentage of revenue or expenses or a minimum fee, whichever is greater. As of October 2003, 35 small webcasters that had elected to follow the royalty rates and terms set out in the agreement were in operation. As shown in figure 3, these webcasters were located throughout the United States, with one in Canada. We interviewed 30 of these webcasters. Rock and pop are the types of music they most often delivered to listeners, although they also webcast rhythm and blues, jazz, “oldies,” and electronic dance music. For 17 of these small webcasters, the targeted audience includes both men and women, while the audience for the remaining 11 is predominately men. Almost all of these small webcasters target listeners between the ages of 25 and 34. Time periodRevenue rateExpense rateMinimum annual feeOctober 28, 1998 – December 31, 19988% of gross revenues5%$500January 01,1999 – December 31, 20028% of gross revenues5%$2,000January 01, 2003 – December 31, 200410% of the first $250,000 of gross revenues and 12% of any gross revenues in excess of $250,0007%$2,000 for webcasters with gross revenues that were not in excess of $50,000 the previous or year or expected to exceed $50,000 during the current license period $5,000 for webcasters with gross revenues that exceeded $50,000 the previous year or are expected to exceed $50,000 during the current license period
Page 11 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Figure 3: Location of Small Webcasters That Signed the Small Webcaster AgreementSmall Webcasters Enter into a Variety of Economic Arrangements with Third PartiesSmall webcasters have economic arrangements with various third parties, including bandwidth providers, advertisers, and merchandise providers. Other less commonly reported arrangements with third parties included those with companies that help small webcasters manage or obtain advertising, such as companies that insert ads either on the Web site or into the webcast, and companies that sell advertising based on the aggregate audience of multiple webcasters. We determined that the economic arrangements of the small webcasters that elected to follow the terms in the small webcaster agreement and those that elected not to do so were not substantially different. Source: GAO.
Page 12 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Arrangements with Bandwidth Providers and Advertisers are Most Common Fifty-two, or 91 percent, of the small webcasters that we interviewed reported having had arrangements with bandwidth providers during the year 2003. In addition, 24 small webcasters said that they had received free bandwidth. However, only 16 of them had received free bandwidth in 2003. Fifteen small webcasters reported that they had received bandwidth at a reduced price at some point, while 14 were receiving it at a reduced price in 2003. Although bandwidth is the dominant cost component for most webcasters, some bandwidth providers offer these incentives as a means to gain business for themselves and to promote the small webcaster market in general.Over half of the small webcasters interviewed had attempted to sell advertising space, either directly or through advertising firms. Of the 40 small webcasters that reported having attempted to sell advertising space, 38 said they were currently running advertising on their stations and 2 stated that they had run advertising in the past, but were no longer doing so. As shown in figure 4, these small webcasters had various methods of selling advertising space. Most reported that the owners or employees of their stations sold advertising space. Other arrangements to sell advertising space, such as through advertising firms or coalitions of webcasters, were less common.Figure 4: Methods of Selling Advertising SpaceNote: Thirty-eight of the 40 small webcasters that had sold advertising space responded to this survey question. Webcasters could report using more than one method. Small webcasters use various types of advertising on their sites. Banner ads, which are graphic images that typically appear toward the top of Web Coalition of webcastersAdvertising agencyOther methodsOwners or employees of parent companyOwners or employees of the stationSource: GAO's survey of small webcasters.0510152025303540Number of webcasters Method467935
Page 13 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
pages, were the most common type of advertising used by small webcasters (see fig. 5). Thirty-three of the small webcasters reported that they use banner ads on their sites, and another 2 reported that they used banner ads in the past, but no longer do so. Audio ads, which play at the beginning or during a small webcaster’s stream, were currently being used by 29 of the small webcasters, and another 3 reported having used them in the past. Video ads, which are either shown on the computer screen whenever the listener tunes to the station or during the stream, were less common. Only 9 of the small webcasters reported using video ads, and another 4 said they had used them in the past. Some of the small webcasters reported using some other type of advertising on their sites.Figure 5: Types of Advertising Currently Used by WebcastersNote: Forty small webcasters responded to this survey question. Webcasters could report using more than one type.Advertising is a primary source of revenue for the small webcasters we interviewed. Twenty-seven of the 58 small webcasters interviewed reported that advertising had provided at least 10 percent of their station’s gross revenue in 2003 (see fig. 6). According to industry analysts and representatives, advertising sales have remained low, in part due to the collapse of the high technology business sector since 2000 and because of the relative novelty of the Internet as an advertising medium. Twelve of the small webcasters interviewed reported that they had received free or reduced-price advertising since 1998. In addition to advertising, other sources of revenue for the small webcasters included donations and merchandise sales.AudioBannerVideoOtherSource: GAO's survey of small webcasters.0510152025303540Number of webcasters Type of advertising1129933
Page 14 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Figure 6: Sources Providing at Least 10 Percent of Webcasting RevenueNote: Fifty-six webcasters responded to this survey question.Arrangements with Merchandisers and Other Third Parties Are Less Prevalent Small webcasters generally did not have arrangements with other third parties, such as merchandisers and ad insertion companies. Twenty-five, or 44 percent, of the small webcasters that we interviewed reported that they had economic arrangements with suppliers of merchandise, such as T-shirts or coffee mugs in 2003 (see fig. 7). This represented an increase of 4 percent from the 1998 through 2002 time period. In addition to selling merchandise on their sites, 15 small webcasters reported that they had received merchandise, such as compact discs and T-shirts, for free or at a reduced price. Thirteen, or 23 percent, of the small webcasters reported that they had economic arrangements in 2003 with ad insertion companies, which sell either the technology for inserting ads into a webcaster’s audio stream or the service of inserting the ads. This technology can help small webcasters target their advertisements to the profiles of their listening audiences as well as provide links to their advertisers’ Web sites. Other types of economic arrangements that were even less common involved coalitions of webcasters and arrangements with aggregators. Twelve, or 21 percent, of the small webcasters reported that they had economic arrangements in 2003 with a coalition of webcasters. Such coalitions have formed to help webcasters market themselves to advertisers. Seven percent of the small webcasters reported that in 2003 they had economic arrangements with companies that sell advertising based on the aggregate audience of multiple webcasters. When an advertiser purchases advertising space from a webcaster, the advertiser is purchasing the chance to present a message to Merchandise salesCash donationsOtherNoncash donationsAdvertisingSource: GAO's survey of small webcasters.0510152025303540Number of webcasters Source of revenues4189927
Page 15 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
as many listeners as possible. While some webcasters are small and may not have enough listeners to attract advertisers on their own, they have entered into arrangements with companies that sell advertising space based on an aggregate audience of multiple webcasters. Other arrangements included those with parent and sister companies and with corporate sponsors. Figure 7: Types of Economic Arrangements with Third PartiesNote: Forty-seven of the 48 small webcasters that were operating between December 28, 1998, and December 31, 2002, responded to this survey question for both time periods. Ten additional small webcasters that began operating in 2003 responded to this survey question for 2003. 71315115143192121239212317343344409194020406080100Source: GAO's survey of small webcasters.October 28, 1998, to December 31, 2002Percentage of webcastersEconomic arrangements2003Music content providerAudience aggregatorOthersAd insertion companyAdvertising agencyCorporate sponsorSuppliers of merchandiseBandwidth providersParent or sister companyCoalition of webcasters
Page 16 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Available Data Suggest the Effects of Economic Relationships between Small Webcasters and Third Parties on Royalties Have Been Minimal to DateData obtained from small webcasters that agreed to the terms of the small webcaster agreement suggest that to date the overall effect of their economic arrangements with third parties on royalties owed to copyright owners has been minimal. Most of these small webcasters owed the minimum royalty fee for either or both of the time periods for which payments were to be made. Because royalty obligations for these webcasters are based on a percentage of their revenues or expenses, or a minimum fee, whichever is greater, accurate reporting is essential to ensure the appropriate payment of royalties. We found only limited evidence to suggest small webcasters might not be doing so.Royalties for Most Small Webcasters Equal the Minimum Fee The majority of small webcasters we interviewed that had agreed to the royalty terms in the small webcaster agreement owed royalties equal to the minimum fee because they did not generate revenue or incur expenses sufficient to exceed the thresholds for owing royalties above the minimum fee. Nineteen, or 70 percent, of the 27 small webcasters that provided us with financial information reported revenue and expense estimates that were below the levels that would result in royalty payments above the minimum fee for one or both of the time periods for which payments were to be made—the historical period, which began on October 28, 1998, and ended on December 31, 2002, and 2003 (see table 2). The specific revenue and expense thresholds vary, in part, depending on when the webcaster began operating. The revenue threshold ranged from $25,000 for those that began operating in 2002 to more than $100,000 for those that began in 1998, while the expense threshold ranged from $40,000 to $170,000. For the period 2003 to 2004, the revenue threshold varied in relation to anticipated revenue, with the threshold at $20,000 for those earning less than $50,000 and at $50,000 for those earning more. During the same time period, the expense threshold was $28,571 for those earning less than $50,000 and $71,429 for those earning more. Most small webcasters reported revenues or expenses that were less than half the thresholds required for royalty payments to exceed the minimum fee.
Page 17 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Table 2: Basis for Royalty Obligations for Two Time Periods Source: GAO’s survey of small webcasters. Note: Three of the 30 small webcasters that agreed to the terms of the small webcaster agreement did not provide us with financial information. Eight small webcasters owed royalties that were based on either revenues or expenses and exceeded the minimum fee. Five owed $3,000 or less above the minimum fee and one owed $5,000 above the minimum fee. The remaining two small webcasters owed more than three times the amount of the minimum fee. These two owed royalties based on their revenues in both time periods. One webcaster attributed much of its revenue to a relationship with an online retailer, while the other received revenue from an Internet service provider that offered its customers the option of including the webcast as an additional service. The specific minimum fee applicable to any individual small webcaster varied in the first period in relation to when it began transmitting, ranging from a low of $500 for a webcaster that operated only in 1998 to $8,500 for one that was operating for all or part of each year from October 28, 1998, through December 2002. The minimum fee for the period 2003 to 2004 varied in relation to anticipated revenue and was $2,000 for small webcasters earning $50,000 or less and $5,000 for those earning more.Reporting revenue and expenses in accordance with the small webcaster agreement is important to help ensure the proper payment of royalties. Under the agreement, all money earned and all expenses incurred, with certain exceptions, are to be reported for purposes of calculating royalties. For example, small webcasters may exclude revenues from the sale of recordings or assets such as land or buildings and such expenses as royalties paid, the cost of recordings used in the webcast, and the value of residential space used in the operation of the webcasting service.Transactions that do not involve the exchange of money but result in the webcaster receiving something of value are to be included in statements of revenues or expenses. The value of the goods or services received is to be Basis Number of small webcastersOwed the minimum fee for one or both time periods19Owed royalties based on revenues for one or both time periods 5Owed royalties based on expenses for both time periods3Total27
Page 18 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
included in the small webcaster’s revenue, and any goods or services the small webcaster offered in exchange are to be reported as expenses. For example, if a small webcaster received free bandwidth, the value of that service should be included as revenue. In some cases, small webcasters contract with an advertising firm that forwards a portion of the advertising sales to the small webcaster and retains a portion as commission. In these cases, the small webcaster is to report the money it received as revenue and the portion retained by the advertising firm as an expense. Although the extent to which small webcasters comply with the agreed-upon guidance for reporting revenues and expenses could not be determined without a detailed review of their financial records, small webcasters that elect to follow the terms of the small webcaster agreement subsequently certify that the figures they report to copyright owners are accurate under penalty of law. Copyright owners have the right to initiate a detailed review of financial records to verify the accuracy of the reported figures. However, an attorney representing copyright owners said that, to his knowledge, no such reviews have been conducted. We found limited evidence to suggest that small webcasters might not be reporting revenues and expenses as agreed. Specifically, while 13 of the small webcasters interviewed said they had received goods or services at no charge, 2 reported having no revenue, although they had received free bandwidth. In each case, however, these small webcasters reported revenue and expense estimates that were well below the revenue and expense threshold, and both were subject to the minimum fee for both the period from 1998 to 2002 and for 2003. Effect of Economic Arrangements May Change As Industry EvolvesAlthough the majority of small webcasters that we interviewed reported revenues and expenses that were substantially below the levels required to pay a royalty above the minimum fee, this may change as the industry matures.16 Revenues and expenses of small webcasters might increase as they attract more listeners, and advertising opportunities and rates may also increase as the webcasting industry matures and advertisers rely more on the Internet as part of their advertising efforts. Two trends that may affect the amount of royalties that small webcasters may have to pay in the
16The current agreement between copyright owners and small webcasters expires at the end
of 2004. It is not clear whether small webcasters will continue to have an option to pay
royalties as a percentage of their revenue or expenses.
Page 19 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
future include growth in audience size and growth in advertising. The number of Americans listening to Internet transmissions nearly tripled between 2000 and 2003, and about 40 percent of Americans have listened to webcasts, including Internet transmissions of over-the-air radio programming, at least once, according to recent reports by an international media and marketing research firm.17 Industry analysts expect this growth to continue. Small webcasters that we interviewed also reported growth in the sizes of their audiences.   Thirty-six, or 76 percent, of the small webcasters that we interviewed that started webcasting before January 2002 said their audience size had increased, although they could not quantify the extent of the increase (see fig. 8).Figure 8: Change in Audience Size among WebcastersNote: Forty-seven of the 48 small webcasters that were in operation on or before January 2002 responded to this survey question.As mentioned earlier, the small webcasters that we interviewed indicated that they depend upon advertising as a primary source of revenue. According to an estimate from one of the reports cited above, if the aggregate webcast audience could be “sold” to advertisers as if it were an over-the-air radio network, it could generate up to $54 million per year in
17Arbitron/Edison Media Research, 2003. “Internet and Multimedia 11: New Media Enters the
Mainstream” and “Internet and Multimedia 10: The Emerging Digital Consumer.”
Source: GAO's survey of small webcasters.3674DecreasedSameIncreased
Page 20 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
advertising revenue.   However, according to industry analysts, webcasters have the potential to increase their advertising revenues over current levels, in part because they have the ability to provide demographic information about their listeners, which allows advertisers to more accurately target advertisements to potential consumers. We will send copies of this report to the appropriate House and Senate committees; interested Members of Congress; the Librarian of Congress; and to the Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will also make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you have any questions about this report, please contact me at (202) 512-3841. Other major contributors to this report are listed in appendix III.Anu K. Mittal
Director, Natural Resources
and Environment
Page 21 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Appendix I
Appendixes Scope and MethodologyAppendix IAs required by the Small Webcaster Settlement Act of 2002, we conducted a study in consultation with officials from the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress to determine (1) the economic arrangements between small commercial webcasters and third parties1 and (2) how those arrangements affect royalties due to copyright owners and performers. We consulted officials from the U.S. Copyright Office throughout the course of our work and incorporated the suggestions and comments we obtained into our report as appropriate.To respond to the objectives set out in the act, we met with officials from the U.S. Copyright Office, the Library of Congress, and representatives of organizations that represent copyright owners. In addition, we interviewed staff from businesses that provide advertising and other services to small webcasters and industry analysts. We also reviewed relevant copyright laws, regulations, and articles. To obtain information from small webcasters, we developed a structured interview. We pretested the content and format of this interview with 6 webcasters. During these pretests we asked the small webcasters to assess whether the questions were clear and unbiased and whether the terms were accurate and precise. We made changes to the interview protocol based on pretest results. We conducted the interview via telephone with 58 small webcasters located throughout the country—30 who had agreed to the terms of the agreement reached by copyright owners and small webcasters under the Small Webcaster Settlement Act and 28 who had not.2The U.S. Copyright Office is not required to and does not maintain a list of small webcasters. As a result, to identify the universe of small webcasters, we obtained a list from SoundExchange of 35 small webcasters that had elected to follow the terms of the small webcaster agreement.3 We 1Third parties are entities that have economic arrangements, such as contracts or
agreements, to provide such goods or services to small webcasters as bandwidth,
advertising, corporate sponsorship, or musical content.
2In this report we refer to this agreement as the small webcaster agreement.
3Small webcasters that elected to follow the terms of the agreement were required to submit
election forms and financial data to SoundExchange, the organization designated by the
Librarian of Congress at the request of both copyright owners and webcasters to receive
royalty payments from webcasters and distribute them to copyright owners. The U.S.
Copyright Office has no responsibility for administering the rates and terms of the small
webcaster agreement.
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Page 22 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
subsequently learned that one of the webcasters had determined that it was not eligible to follow the terms of the agreement because the station made too much revenue, and a second webcaster operated only as a subscription service. A third webcaster informed us that it had ceased operating in December 2000. SoundExchange later sent us an updated list that included 3 additional small webcasters. Thus, the number of eligible small webcasters that were operating as of October 2003 and had agreed to follow the terms of the agreement was 35. We completed interviews with 30 of these small webcasters for a response rate of 85.7 percent. We also interviewed small webcasters that did not elect to follow the terms of the small webcaster agreement. We obtained a list of 121 names of small webcasters from BRS Media (a private firm that maintains a list of Internet broadcasting firms). To the best of our knowledge, this encompassed all small webcasters operating in the United States. Of these 121 webcasters, 28 were no longer operating or did not appear to meet the definition of an eligible small commercial webcaster, and 4 had signed the small webcaster agreement (and thus were on the list of “signers”). We attempted to reach the remaining 89 small webcasters. Forty-two small webcasters were contacted. Interviews were completed with 28 that met the criteria of “small webcaster.” Fourteen webcasters refused to be interviewed. We were not able to contact the remaining 47 webcasters, although we made repeated attempts and left messages when we could. We did not calculate the response rate for the group of small webcasters that did not sign the agreement because we did not know how many of those not interviewed were eligible small webcasters, and we did not have enough information to reasonably estimate the percentage that might be eligible.To protect the confidentiality of the small webcasters we interviewed, we randomly assigned each an identification number and documented their responses to our interview questions with the identification number. During the interviews, we asked the 58 small webcasters about economic arrangements they had with third parties, whether they were currently receiving or had previously received any free or reduced-price goods or services, and requested estimates of their revenues, expenses, and third party revenues. For those small webcasters that had signed the election form to follow the terms of the small webcaster agreement, we asked for their reasons for doing so. For those that had not signed the election form, we asked for their reasons for not doing so. For many of the questions, we asked small webcasters to provide separate responses for two different periods to correspond with the reporting periods contained in the agreement—the historical period, which began on October 28, 1998, and
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology
Page 23 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
ended on December 31, 2002, and 2003 to 2004. We asked small webcasters to provide information through the date of our interviews, which were conducted in November and December 2003.We also asked each of the 30 small webcasters we interviewed who had elected to follow the terms of the small webcaster agreement to sign a release form allowing us to obtain access to the financial records they had submitted to SoundExchange. We obtained signed release forms from 25 of the 30 (83.3 percent) small webcasters. A representative of SoundExchange subsequently informed us that it had no financial information for 9 of these 25 small webcasters. We reviewed the information the 16 remaining small webcasters had provided to SoundExchange to determine whether it was comparable to the information they had provided to us. To assess the effect that economic arrangements between small webcasters and third parties have on the royalties due to copyright owners and performers, we used financial information obtained during our interviews with 27 of the 30 small webcasters that elected to follow the terms of the agreement. Three of the 30 small webcasters declined to provide any financial information. We calculated the threshold revenue amounts that each of the 27 small webcasters would have had to exceed to owe more than the minimum royalty fee. These revenue amounts were calculated for both time periods—October 28, 1998 through December 31, 2002, and for 2003—and were based on the length of time the small webcaster had been in operation. We then estimated the amount that each small webcaster owed in royalties for each of the two time periods based on the revenue and expense data that they provided to us. For small webcasters that did not report revenue or expense estimates for the entire year, we used their average monthly revenues to project their yearly gross revenue and/or expenses. These estimated values were compared to the threshold amounts and allowed us to determine whether the small webcasters were subject to royalty payments above the minimum fee.
Page 24 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small WebcastersAppendix II
Q1: Number of Webcasters Who Began Operating Current Nonsubscription Webcasting
Service in Years 1997 to 2003
Year
Signed small webcaster
agreement
(N=30)
Did not sign small
webcaster
agreement
(N=24)
All respondents
(N=58)a
1997 1 0 3
1998 3 2 5
1999 4 3 7
2000 4 11 17
2001 4 3 7
2002 7 2 9
2003 7 3 10
aFifty-eight webcasters completed our interview. Four webcasters could not be reliably
classified as having signed or not signed the small webcaster agreement . They were included in
the analyses of all respondents, but not in the analyses of those who had signed or not signed the
agreement. Not all respondents answered all questions.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 25 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q2: Percentage of Webcasters Playing Different Types of Music
Type of music
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=30)
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
(N=24)
All respondents
(N=58)
African 16.67 8.33 15.52
Bluegrass 33.33 12.50 24.14
Broadway or show tunes 16.67 4.17 10.34
Classical 26.67 16.67 24.14
Country 30.00 16.67 25.86
Easy listening 36.67 4.17 20.69
Electronic dance music 46.67 16.67 32.76
Folk 36.67 20.83 31.03
Indie-alternative 53.33 33.33 44.83
Jazz 50.00 16.67 36.21
Latin 33.33 16.67 25.86
Oldies 40.00 25.00 37.93
Pop 56.67 12.50 39.66
Rap 46.67 16.67 34.48
Reggae 50.00 12.50 34.48
Religious 23.33 25.00 24.14
Rhythm & blues 43.33 33.33 41.38
Rock 73.33 62.50 70.69
Other 36.67 66.67 50.00
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 26 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q3: Percentage of Webcasters Streaming One or More Channels
Number of channels streamed
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=30)
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
(N=24)
All
respondents
(N=58)
1 66.67 87.50 74.14
2 10.00 4.17 10.34
4 3.33 4.17 3.45
6 0.00 4.17 1.72
9 3.33 0.00 1.72
14 3.33 0.00 1.72
18 3.33 0.00 1.72
19 3.33 0.00 1.72
50 3.33 0.00 1.72
138 3.33 0.00 1.72
Q4: Percentage of Webcasters Who Target Different Age Groups
Age range
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=29)
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
(N=23)
All
respondents
(N=54)
17 and younger 41.38 30.43 35.71
18 – 24 79.31 69.57 76.79
25 – 34 96.55 82.61 91.07
35 – 54 79.31 78.26 80.36
55 and over 31.03 47.83 39.29
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 27 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q5: Percentage of Webcasters Indicating That Listeners are Mostly Males, Mostly
Females, or Both Males and Females
Sex of listeners
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=28)
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
(N=23)
All
respondents
(N=55)
Mostly males 39.29 43.48 40.00
Mostly females 0.00 0.00 0.00
Both 60.71 56.52 60.00
Q6: Percentage of Webcasters Who Track Size of Audience
Signed small
webcaster agreement
(N=30)
Did not sign small
webcaster agreement
(N=24)
All respondents
(N=55)
76.67 70.83 75.86
Q7: Size of audience. Data are not reported due to unreliability.
Q8: Percentage of Webcasters Reporting Increase or Decrease in Size of Audience Since
January 2002
Size of audience
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=29)
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
(N=24)
All
respondents
(N=54)
Increased 79.31 70.83 77.19
Decreased 3.45 12.50 7.02
Stayed the same 17.24 16.67 15.79
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 28 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q9: Percentage of Webcasters Currently Offering a Subscription
Service
Signed small
webcaster agreement
(N=29)
Did not sign small
webcaster agreement
(N=23)
All respondents
(N=58)
16.67 12.50 13.79
Q10: Percentage of Webcasters Using Advertising on Web Site
Use of advertising
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=29)
Did not sign
small
webcaster
agreement
(N=24)
All
respondents
(N=57)
Currently use 68.97 62.50 66.67
Don’t use now, but
did in the past
3.45 4.17 3.51
Don’t use now and
have never used
27.59 33.33 29.82
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 29 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q11: Percentage of Webcasters Using Different Types of Advertisingb
Type of advertising Currently use
Used in past
but don’t use
now
Have never
used
Have never
used but
intend to use
in the future*
Signed small webcaster agreement
(N=21)
Banner ads 90.48 0.00 9.52 50.00
Audio ads 66.67 4.76 19.05 50.00
Video ads 33.33 4.76 61.90 15.38
Other types of ads 33.33 4.76 61.90 0.00
Did not sign small webcaster agreement
(N=16)
Banner ads 75.00 12.50 12.50 0.00
Audio ads 81.25 6.25 12.50 50.00
Video ads 6.25 18.75 75.00 41.67
Other types of ads 18.75 0.00 81.25 0.00
All respondents
(N=40)
Banner ads 82.50 5.00 12.50 33.33
Audio ads 72.50 7.50 15.00 42.86
Video ads 22.50 10.00 67.50 29.63
Other types of ads 27.50 2.50 70.00 100.00
*This question was asked only of those respondents who answered that they “had
never used” that type of advertising.
bQuestions 11 and 12 were answered only by webcasters who answered (Question 10) that they
currently use advertising or used advertising in the past.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 30 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q12: Percentage of Webcasters Using Different Ways to Sell Ads
Ways advertising could
be sold Currently use
Intend to in
the future
Don’t do
and don’t
intend to
in future
Not
applicable
Signed small webcaster agreement
(N=20)
Sold by an advertising
agency
20.00 45.00 35.00 0.00
Sold by owners or
employees of the
station
95.00 5.00 0.00 0.00
Sold by owners or
employees of parent
company
10.00 0.00 30.00 60.00
Sold through a
coalition of webcasters 20.00 45.00 35.00 0.00
Other ways 20.00 0.00 80.00 0.00
Did not sign small webcaster agreement
(N=16)
Sold by an advertising
agency
25.00 31.25 37.50 6.25
Sold by owners or
employees of the
station
81.25 6.25 0.00 12.50
Sold by owners or
employees of parent
company
12.50 0.00 18.75 68.75
Sold through a
coalition of webcasters 18.75 37.50 31.25 12.50
Other ways 12.50 6.25 75.00 6.25
All respondents
(N=39)
Sold by an advertising
agency 23.08 41.03 33.33 2.56
Sold by owners or
employees of the
station
89.74 5.13 0.00 5.13
Sold by owners or
employees of parent
company
10.26 0.00 23.08 66.67
Sold through a
coalition of webcasters 17.95 43.59 33.33 5.13
Other ways 15.38 2.56 79.49 2.56
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 31 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q13: Percentage of Webcasters Who Had Economic Transactions With Different Types
of Businesses
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
Type of business (N=22) (N=21) (N=47)
Ad insertion company 9.09 28.57 17.02
Advertising agency 31.82 14.29 23.40
Audience aggregator for
advertisers 22.73 4.76 12.77
Bandwidth provider (i.e., an
ISP) 86.36 100.00 93.62
A music content provider 13.64 14.29 14.89
A corporate sponsor 27.27 19.05 21.28
A coalition of webcasters 0.00 19.05 8.51
A parent or sister company 45.45 23.81 34.04
Suppliers of merchandise (e.g.,
T-shirts) 40.91 33.33 40.43
Other types of businesses 50.00 38.10 42.55
1/01/2003-presentc
Type of business (N=29) (N=24) (N=57)
Ad insertion company 17.24 29.17 22.81
Advertising agency 17.24 25.00 21.05
Audience aggregator for
advertisers 6.90 4.17 7.02
Bandwidth provider (i.e., an
ISP) 89.66 95.83 91.23
A music content provider 10.34 8.33 10.53
A corporate sponsor 24.14 16.67 19.30
A coalition of webcasters 10.34 33.33 21.05
A parent or sister company 44.83 20.83 33.33
Suppliers of merchandise (e.g.,
T-shirts) 41.38 45.83 43.86
Other types of businesses 55.17 45.83 50.88
cWe conducted interviews with small webcasters in November and December 2003. “Present”
refers to the date of the interview.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 32 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q14: Percentage of Webcasters Using Different Methods to Pay for Goods and Services
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
Method of payment (N=22) (N=21) (N=47)
Direct payment, that is, with
cash or a check 100.00 100.00 100.00
Commissions 36.36 28.57 31.91
Revenue or profit sharing 18.18 4.76 12.77
Barter or other noncash
exchange 45.45 52.38 51.06
Other ways 4.55 0.00 2.13
1/01/2003-presentd
Method of payment (N=29) (N=24) (N=57)
Direct payment, that is, with
cash or a check
100.00 100.00 100.00
Commissions 41.38 29.17 35.09
Revenue or profit sharing 17.24 8.33 15.79
Barter or other noncash
exchange 31.03 41.67 38.60
Other ways 3.45 4.17 3.51
dWe conducted interviews with small webcasters in November and December 2003. “Present”
refers to the date of the interview.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 33 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q15: Percentage of Webcasters Who Reported Receiving Different Types of Goods and
Services
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
Goods and services (N=22) (N=21) (N=47)
Free bandwidth 31.82 52.38 44.68
Reduced-price bandwidth 22.73 38.10 29.79
Free or reduced-price
advertising for your webcasting
service
18.18 23.81 21.28
Other goods 27.27 19.05 23.40
1/01/2003-presente
Goods and services (N=28) (N=24) (N=56)
Free bandwidth 21.43 33.33 28.57
Reduced-price bandwidth 14.29 37.50 25.00
Free or reduced-price
advertising for your webcasting
service
10.71 20.83 16.07
Other goods 25.00 25.00 25.00
Q16: Percentage of Webcasters Reporting That Different Goods and Services Provide at
Least 10% of Their Gross Revenue
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
Goods and services (N=21) (N=21) (N=46)
Advertising 57.14 38.10 45.65
Cash donations 23.81 28.57 26.09
Noncash donations 0.00 4.76 6.52
Merchandise sales 14.29 4.76 13.04
Other sources 28.57 4.76 15.22
1/01/2003-presente
Goods and services (N=28) (N=24) (N=56)
Advertising 53.57 41.67 48.21
Cash donations 28.57 37.50 32.14
Noncash donations 0.00 8.33 7.14
Merchandise sales 14.29 12.50 16.07
Other sources 25.00 4.17 16.07
eWe conducted interviews with small webcasters in November and December 2003. “Present”
refers to the date of the interview.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 34 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q17: Webcasters’ Estimates of Their Gross Revenue
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
(N=20) (N=19) (N=41)
Mean 42,839 4,750 23,099
Minimum 0 0 0
Maximum 300,000 79,000 300,000
1/01/2003-presentf
(N=27) (N=22) (N=51)
Mean 32,394 4,024 18,886
Minimum 0 0 0
Maximum 300,000 72,000 300,000
fWe conducted interviews with small webcasters in November and December 2003. “Present”
refers to the date of the interview.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 35 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q18: Webcasters’ Estimates of Their Expenses
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
(N=20) (N=18) (N=40)
Mean 81,549 28,700 60,189
Minimum 499 300 300
Maximum 300,000 222,000 300,000
1/01/2003-presentg
(N=27) (N=21) (N=50)
Mean 36,607 42,496 42,156
Minimum 500 110 110
Maximum 250,000 500,000 500,000
gWe conducted interviews with small webcasters in November and December 2003. “Present”
refers to the date of the interview.
Q.19: Percentage of Webcasters Who Participated in the Negotiations
That Led to the Small Webcaster Settlement Act
Signed small
webcaster agreement
(N=28)
Did not sign small
webcaster agreement
(N=24)
All respondents
(N=56)
28.57 12.50 23.21
Q20: Percentage of Webcasters Who Elected to Pay Royalties to
Performers Under the Terms of the Small Webcaster Agreement
Signed small
webcaster agreement
(N=28)
Did not sign small
webcaster agreement
(N=23)
All respondents
(N=55)
92.86 0 54.55
Q21: Month and Year Election Forms Submitted to
SoundExchange. Data are not reported due to
unreliability.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 36 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q22: Reasons Webcasters Elected to Pay Royalties under the
Terms of the Small Webcaster Agreement
(N=26)*
Reasons for electing to pay royalties Percent
The royalty rates for performers under
the small webcaster agreement seemed
reasonable.
26.67
Thought there was no choice but to sign
the election form. 86.67
The implementation of your business
plan required the certainty of knowing
performer royalty obligations.
63.33
Wanted to take advantage of the “delay of
obligation” option, which allows a small
webcaster to delay performer royalty
payments.
26.67
Other reasons 66.67
*This question was answered only by those respondents who
elected to pay royalties under the agreement.
Q23: Reasons Webcasters Elected to Not Pay Royalties Under
the Terms of the Small Webcaster Agreement
(N=23)*
Reasons for electing to not pay royalties Percent
The performer royalties under the
agreement seemed too high. 73.91
Arranged a private agreement with
performers. 17.39
Not familiar with the process and did not
know this was an option. 43.48
Waiting to see if the rate would change. 47.83
Only stream music by independent artists
and labels. 21.74
Terms and conditions set by the Library
of Congress were more favorable.
8.70
Other reasons 73.91
*This question was answered only by those respondents who
elected to not pay royalties under the agreement.
Appendix II
Results of GAO’s Survey of Small Webcasters
Page 37 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Q24: Webcasters’ Estimates of Revenues Earned by Third Parties
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
All
respondents
10/28/1998 – 12/31/2002
(N=10) (N=13) (N=27)
Mean 300 81 150
Minimum 0 0 0
Maximum 2,000 500 2,000
1/01/2003-presenth
(N=15) (N=15) (N=34)
Mean 140 143 125
Minimum 0 0 0
Maximum 2,000 1,000 2,000
hWe conducted interviews with small webcasters in November and December 2003. “Present”
refers to the date of the interview.
Q25: Percentage of Webcasters Who Believe Webcaster or Recipient of Revenue Should
be Responsible for Paying Royalties on Third Party Revenue
Signed small
webcaster
agreement
(N=29)
Did not sign
small webcaster
agreement
(N=23)
All
respondents
(N=53)
The webcaster 11.54 21.74 15.09
The person or company that
received the revenue 61.54 60.87 64.15
Other 26.92 17.39 20.75
Page 38 GAO-04-700 Intellectual Property
Appendix III
Appendixes GAO Contacts and Staff AcknowledgmentsAppendix IIIGAO ContactsAnu K. Mittal, (202) 512-3841
Cheryl Williams, (404) 679-1991Acknowledgments Stephen M. Brown, Jason Jackson, Jonathan McMurray, Lynn Musser, Deborah Ortega, Janice Turner, and Mindi Weisenbloom made key contributions to this report.(360346)
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From the Bullshit department....HHS: RFID Will Thwart Drug Counterfeiting

HHS: RFID Will Thwart Drug Counterfeiting
"Tommy Thompson praised mandatory moves toward bar codes on drugs at the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization Monday, but said additional technology could ensure greater safety.

While bar codes can make sure that the right drug gets to the right patient at the right dose, RFID technology is the next logical step. RFID advances have made the technology cheap enough to be employed against counterfeit drugs, Thompson said."

TAKE THE CHIP...TAKE THE CHIP SCREAMS BIG BROTHER!

 

Court upholds Bible class ban

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that argued weekly Bible classes are unconstitutional in the public schools of Rhea County, the same county where the "Scopes Monkey Trial" pitted creationists against evolutionists 79 years ago.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati agreed Monday with a February 2002 ruling by U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar of Chattanooga.

Edgar ruled that the Bible Education Ministry program in Rhea County violated the First Amendment's clause calling for separation of church and state.

The 30-minute classes were held weekly for about 800 students in kindergarten through fifth grade at the county's three elementary schools. Parental consent was not required and students were allowed to participate in alternative activities if they objected to the classes.


 

Congress blamed for security funding

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration said Wednesday that Congress was to blame for not providing enough homeland security money to cities at a high risk of terrorist attack."

So...does that mean the Congress is aiding the terrorist now?

How deep does the rabbithole go? Are they going to use the Patriot Act against the very Congress that passed it without reading it?

Oh, the irony of it all.

 

Study finds dogs understand language

"




Study finds dogs understand language
Thursday, June 10, 2004 Posted: 10:16 AM EDT (1416 GMT)



Rico, a dog with a "vocabulary" of nearly 200 words, can learn the names of unfamiliar toys after just one exposure to the new word-toy combination.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- As many a dog owner will attest, our furry friends are listening. Now, for the doubters, there is scientific proof they understand much of what they hear.

German researchers have found a border collie named Rico who understands more than 200 words and can learn new ones as quickly as many children.

Patti Strand, an American Kennel Club board member, called the report "good news for those of us who talk to our dogs."

"Like parents of toddlers, we learned long ago the importance of spelling key words like bath, pill or vet when speaking in front of our dogs," Strand said. "Thanks to the researchers who've proven that people who talk to their dogs are cutting-edge communicators, not just a bunch of eccentrics."

The researchers found that Rico knows the names of dozens of play toys and can find the one called for by his owner. That is a vocabulary size about the same as apes, dolphins and parrots trained to understand words, the researchers say.

Rico can even take the next step, figuring out what a new word means.

The researchers put several known toys in a room along with one that Rico had not seen before. From a different room, Rico's owner asked him to fetch a toy, using a name for the toy the dog had never heard.

The border collie, a breed known primarily for its herding ability, was able to go to the room with the toys and, seven times out of 10, bring back the one he had not seen before. The dog seemingly understood that because he knew the names of all the other toys, the new one must be the one with the unfamiliar name.

"Apparently he was able to link the novel word to the novel item based on exclusion learning, either because he knew that the familiar items already had names or because they were not novel," said the researchers, led by Julia Fischer of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.

A month later, he still remembered the name of that new toy three out of six times, even without having seen it since that first test. That is a rate the scientists said was equivalent to that of a 3-year-old.

Rico's learning ability may indicate that some parts of speech comprehension developed separately from human speech, the scientists said.

"You don't have to be able to talk to understand a lot," Fischer said. The team noted that dogs have evolved with humans and have been selected for their ability to respond to the communications of people."
-----------------SNIP-----------------------------
My question is, "DO MY CATS UNDERSTAND ME?"

 

RAY CHARLES DIES

Ray Charles is dead. He was only 73 years of age.

I want to send my personal, heartfelt condolences to his familuu, friends, and fans.

His rendition of "Georgia" was one of my all time faves.

Ray was blind, but through his music, he showed us so much, and opened our hearts to seeing more of the beauty in the world.

Ray, I will miss you, both for your courage and your music.

God bless you, and rest in piece.

Say hi to Jimi, Jim, John, and Janis for us!
"BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP) -- Ray Charles, the Grammy-winning crooner who blended gospel and blues in such crowd-pleasers as "What'd I Say" and heartfelt ballads like "Georgia on My Mind," died Thursday, a spokesman said. He was 73.

Charles died at his Beverly Hills home surrounded by family and friends, said spokesman Jerry Digney.

Charles' last public appearance was alongside Clint Eastwood on April 30, when the city of Los Angeles designated the singer's studios, built 40 years ago in central Los Angeles, as a historic landmark.

Blind by age 7 and an orphan at 15, Charles spent his life shattering any notion of musical boundaries and defying easy definition. A gifted pianist and saxophonist, he dabbled in country, jazz, big band and blues, and put his stamp on it all with a deep, warm voice roughened by heartbreak from a hardscrabble childhood in the segregated South.

"His sound was stunning -- it was the blues, it was R&B, it was gospel, it was swing -- it was all the stuff I was listening to before that but rolled into one amazing, soulful thing," singer Van Morrison told Rolling Stone magazine in April.

Charles won nine of his 12 Grammy Awards between 1960 and 1966, including the best R&B recording three consecutive years ("Hit the Road Jack," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Busted")."

humbly,
~Code

 

RIAA Applauds Signing of Free Trade Agreement Between The U.S. And Five Central American Countries

"Free Trade Negotiations Between the U.S. and Bahrain Conclude

[The U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, today officially signed the U.S. Central American Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemal, Honduras and Nicargua. Additionally, on Thursday, Zoellick announced the conclusion of free trade negotiations with Bahrain. The two agreements set new standards for copyright protections and enforcement in the respective geographic regions. For example, among other protections, both of the agreements ensure that only authors, composers and other copyright owners have the right to make their work available online. The pacts also ensure tougher penalties for piracy and counterfeiting. Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President International, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) offered the following comment on the agreements.]

"Representative Zoellick and his team deserve enormous credit for steadily and diligently expanding intellectual property protections to creators throughout the world. These new agreements build upon an exemplary track record of success. They reflect a continuing commitment by the trade representative to expanding global opportunities for America’s creators and protecting our economic competitiveness.” "

I've been saying that the FTAA was the darling of the RIAA, and sure enough, they prove me right!

 

The Gipper Meets the Reaper

Whitehouse.ORG really gets down with their satirical commentary on the bombastity of the Reagan stuff.

The word "EXCORIATE" comes to mind.

 

Britney Spears Sued In $10 Million Trademark Infringement Action

Britney Spears Sued In $10 Million Trademark Infringement Action
[06-10-2004] Music Industry News Network

ww.mi2n.com

Lite Breeze Inc., a San Diego company, has sued Britney Spears, along with three other defendants, in United States District Court for the Southern District of California for 10 million dollars. Lite Breeze alleges that Ms. Spears has infringed its United States Trademark, IN THE ZONE, in connection with her most recent CD, "In The Zone". See Lite Breeze Inc. v. Spears, Clear Channel Entertainment Television Holdings, Inc., Signatures Network, Inc. and Zomba Recording Corp., dba Jive Records, Case No. 04-CV-0326 DMS (JFS) (S.D. Cal. Feb. 17, 2004).

The lawsuit was filed in February, 2004; however Ms. Spears did not accept service of the legal papers until May, 2004. Although Lite Breeze has been in communication with Ms. Spears' attorney since February, Ms. Spears refused to give her attorney the authority to accept service of the legal papers. Ms. Spears avoided numerous attempts to serve her the legal papers over the past several months. Finally, Ms. Spears agreed to accept service of the papers if Lite Breeze agreed to postpone the taking of her deposition for six months. Ms. Spears and the other defendants must file their answers to the allegations by June 14, 2004.

Since receiving a cease and desist letter from Lite Breeze requesting that Ms. Spears and the other defendants stop using its IN THE ZONE trademark, the Spears camp has allegedly pulled from sale all t-shirts using the IN THE ZONE trademark. Additionally, Lite Breeze suspects that the name of Ms. Spears' current worldwide concert tour was changed from "Britney Spears In The Zone 2004 Tour" to "The Onyx Hotel Tour" after the defendants discovered Lite Breeze's trademark.

Lite Breeze, Inc. is a San Diego based corporation specializing in athletic clothing and sporting team uniforms throughout the United States under its brand name IN THE ZONE. Additionally, Lite Breeze promotes musical and live sporting event entertainment using its IN THE ZONE trademark. Lite Breeze alleges that Ms. Spears' unauthorized use of its trademark is causing confusion in the marketplace and has harmed its trademark.

Rodd Garner, President of Lite Breeze, said "We have spent over 12 years building name recognition and brand loyalty with the IN THE ZONE and THE ZONE trademark. IN THE ZONE is as wholesome and All-American as hotdogs and apple pie. We are associated with sporting and musical events throughout the country. By releasing her CD entitled "In The Zone" and its promotional tour, now entitled "The Oynx Hotel Tour", Ms. Spears has taken Lite Breeze's brand and equated it with what Rolling Stone Magazine has stated 'offers strip-club, 1-900 sex, accommodating and hollow.'" See Jon Pareles, Rolling Stone, Dec. 11, 2003.

Mr. Garner stated that the public is likely to be confused about the origin of goods associated with the IN THE ZONE trademark. Either the public will believe that Lite Breeze has licensed Ms. Spears' use of the trademark or the public will believe the opposite - that Ms. Spears owns the rights to IN THE ZONE and that Lite Breeze has received a license from Ms. Spears. Either option is unacceptable to Mr. Garner who has made clear that the image presented by Ms. Spears in connection with her unauthorized use of trademark is aimed at the same demographic as IN THE ZONE's customers and her use of the mark does not represent the values, morals and ethics of IN THE ZONE and Lite Breeze.

Ms. Spears' unauthorized use of the trademark is in direct contradiction to her 2002 public service announcements warning people against music piracy and theft of intellectual property. In those announcements, Ms. Spears stated that downloading music from the Internet is the same as going into a CD store and stealing the CD. See Spears Warns Against Piracy, BBC, Sept. 26, 2002.

In the lawsuit, Ms. Spears is accused of stealing the intellectual property, i.e. the trademark, of Lite Breeze. If Lite Breeze is successful in its lawsuit, Ms. Spears and the other defendants could be ordered to turn over all profits earned for Spears' In The Zone CD, the related tour and merchandising, and all damages to Lite Breeze.

Additionally, the defendants may be required to pay three times any judgment awarded if the Court determines that Ms. Spears' use of the IN THE ZONE trademark was willful. When Lite Breeze filed the lawsuit, it estimated that damages would be $10 million. Since that time, one of the defendants in the lawsuit, Signatures Network, has publicly stated that the first leg of Ms. Spears most recent concert tour has sales figures of more the $30 million. Ms. Spears is beginning the second leg of her U.S. concert tour on June 22, 2004 in Hartford, Connecticut. Accordingly, the damages sought in the lawsuit may be much higher than Lite Breeze originally estimated.

 

Link sent in from LaChatte-Defense Contractors Sued Over Prison Abuse

"SAN DIEGO - Human rights lawyers filed a racketeering lawsuit Wednesday against two U.S. defense contractors, accusing them of conspiring to torture, rape and kill Iraqi prisoners.


Reuters
Slideshow: Iraq Prisoner Abuse Investigation




San Diego-based Titan Corp. and CACI International, based in Arlington, Va., were sued in federal court in San Diego by eight Iraqis and the estate of an Iraqi man who lawyers said was tortured to death.

CACI rejected the allegations as "ill-informed, slanderous and malicious." Titan called the lawsuit "frivolous" and said it had no control over prisoners or how they were handled.

The lawsuit, filed by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and a Philadelphia law firm, alleges that the companies conspired to commit the abuse in order to generate more business.

"It is patently clear that these corporations saw an opportunity to build their businesses by proving they could extract information from detainees in Iraq (news - web sites), by any means necessary," said plaintiffs' attorney Susan Burke.

Attorneys acknowledged that the only evidence of abuse were phone and e-mail interviews with the former prisoners and their families in Iraq."

Thanks to LaChatte for this contribution!

 

User exchanges: It's good to share

""Zeke" was generally happy with the professional Web authoring application he used, but he didn't like the way some of the buttons looked when he added "click here" links on a page. So he grabbed a few development tools, created some shiny new buttons of his own and published them free of charge for anyone who wanted to use or improve them.

It might sound like another open-source community feel good story, but the application in question is Dreamweaver, the leading professional Web authoring package and one of the main products from Macromedia, a 100 percent proprietary software publisher.

User exchanges let customers share improvements to proprietary software in an open-source style, but most software manufactures shy away from allowing them.
Bottom line:
While application makers worry about liability, support costs and other details, they may be missing an easy way to improve their products and build customer loyalty."

But Macromedia also is one of a shrinking number of software makers that support user exchanges, in which customers can swap free or shareware software add-ons they've created using freely available development tools. While many software publishers have abandoned such forums for a variety of legal and business concerns, Macromedia, Adobe Systems and a few others have persisted, creating an interesting middle ground between closed, proprietary development models and collaborative open-source methods." "

 

Bounty Hunters or Stool Pidgeons?

"The Sasser computer worm may mark a turning point for law enforcement's ability to catch and prosecute computer virus authors.

The reason: Enticed by a $250,000 reward, an informant came forward to leak information on the person who wrote and released the Sasser worm. It's exactly what Microsoft, which agreed to the bounty as part of its antivirus reward program, hoped would happen, said Hemanshu Nigam, an attorney for the Microsoft branch administering the program.

Nigam, originally from India, worked as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney's office and later in the Department of Justice. If you have involvement in the virus or worm that has been launched, you are not eligible for a reward.
Initially, he prosecuted child pornographers and others who exploit children on the Net. He then joined the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section but left to work for the Motion Picture Association of America to help the group enforce its copyright claims against digital pirates. He moved to Microsoft to work on similar issues and also to focus on criminal complaints: For instance, when scammers use Hotmail or MSN.com to engage in criminal activity, he supports law enforcement in identifying people and providing information, as required by law. "

 

The Bush administration has no respect for science

"The Union of Concerned Scientists in a February report pointed out something the science press has known for years: The Bush administration has no respect for science. Ideologues prefer to make up the laws of nature as they go."
From Wired
"Presidential science adviser John Marburger complained that the UCS's account sounded like a "conspiracy theory report." That's because it is one. As the report amply documents, the Bush administration has systematically manipulated scientific inquiry into climate change, forest management, lead and mercury contamination, and a host of other issues. Even as Marburger addressed his critics, the administration purged two advocates of stem-cell research from the President's Council on Bioethics.

When politicians dictate science, government becomes entangled in its own deceptions, and eventually the social order decays in a compost of lies. Society, having abandoned the scientific method, loses its empirical referent, and truth becomes relative. This is a serious affliction known as Lysenkoism.

Trofim Lysenko was Joseph Stalin's top stooge in Soviet agricultural science, a field that was mercilessly politicized by fanatics. His specialty was inventing nutty schemes - things like stimulating the evolution of trees by overcrowding them to get them to cooperate, as though they were communist minions. This totalitarian huckster spent his whole career promising exciting results and bringing about only disaster. But the party never judged itself on results, so he always got a free pass."

 

Pro-Consumer Privacy Bill Gets a Hearing

"EFF Backs California Senate Bill Protecting Anonymous Speech Online

San Francisco and Berkeley, CA - Your employer just laid off 300 of your colleagues without notice and without severance pay. So you go online and post an angry, anonymous comment about it on a Yahoo! message board. Although you could lose your job if your boss discovered what you’ve said, you feel safe because nobody who reads the comment knows who you are. Plus, your right to engage in anonymous free speech is protected under the First Amendment, right? Wrong.

In California, it is currently legal for anyone to subpoena personal information from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) without any court oversight – and without notifying you. That means you have no chance to protect your anonymity or secure legal representation before the person requesting the subpoena figures out who you are and takes action against you. Your boss could read that anonymous comment, subpoena your ISP to get your name, and fire you the next day.

Over the past few years, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other organizations have defended dozens of individuals whose identities have been sought after they criticized corporations or other people online. Nearly all of the cases are dropped once opposition begins, indicating that the lawsuits are aimed at silencing criticism and identifying critics, rather than addressing legitimate legal claims.

To remedy this problem, California Assembly Member Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) is sponsoring Assembly Bill 1143, the Internet Communications Protection Act (ICPA). The bill protects anonymous speakers on the Internet by requiring service providers to notify them before handing over personal information that’s been subpoenaed. This information could include addresses, phone numbers, and any other private details a person provided to enable him or her to get Internet connectivity. Once a user is notified and given the basic information about the claims, he or she is given a window of time to respond and thus gain the opportunity to secure legal representation to contest the validity of the subpoena and protect personal information.

AB 1433 is backed by EFF, which is represented by the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley’s School of Law. It also has the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Anti-SLAPP project and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Cindy Cohn, Legal Director of EFF, said, “This act ensures that you have a reasonable opportunity to protect your own privacy. It levels the playing field by giving you the time and information you need to defend yourself if the claim against you is invalid, while preserving the right of those who have legitimate claims to find out who has harmed them.” Assemblyman Simitian added, “Internet users deserve to have their privacy and their anonymity protected. And they deserve due process in defending themselves against frivolous lawsuits.”

In addition, ICPA eases the burden placed on service providers by allowing them to bill subpoenaing parties for the costs of notifying users about their subpoenas. It also allows people to subpoena information without notification in emergency cases."

The hearing for the bill is tentatively set for June 15.

 

One of the Hydra Heads is getting bigger...or trying to...

"FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Record labels Sony Music and Bertelsmann's BMG have told the European Union they are sure a hearing next week and a letter they have written will answer its concerns about a planned merger, BMG said on Wednesday. "

 

Virtual Global Task Force- Big Brother is in Overdrive Status!

In an article from The Register, apparently plans are being developed to establish a "Virtual Global Task Force" to monitor chat rooms online. They would say that this is to combat child porn, but you know and I know that they will use it abusively, and go after anyone for anything that is said. And, look for ALL chat rooms in which they participate, to have all comments made, saved to a drive somewhere, ready to present as evidence of ANY wrongdoing.

 

Univision sues Neilsen ratings

Neilsen has been sued by Univision. In an article found here

"Univision Communications Inc. said on Thursday it has filed suit against Nielsen Media Research alleging that a new method used by the firm to measure television audiences undercounts Hispanic viewers. "

Apparently, July 8, Neilsen will be launching "people meters" in LA , and that this will undercount Hispanic viewers.

 

The word for the day is Invective.

From Dictionary.com, invective means this:
in·vec·tive ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-vktv)
n.
Denunciatory or abusive language; vituperation.
Denunciatory or abusive expression or discourse.

adj.
Of, relating to, or characterized by denunciatory or abusive language
.

---------------------SNIP-------------------------------------
There are those in the anti-RIAA movement, who in the past, have urged me to cool my rhetoric and attacks against them. I have had strong disagreements with them.

I recently was made aware that some music promoters were upset about the proper articles at a site, whose domain name, gives the visitor the impression that the site is anti-RIAA.

I personally, believe that truth is never, and will never, be "invective" just as by definition, the truth is not and cannot be, libelous, slanderous, or defamatory. Legally, truth is an absolute affirmative defense from charges of libel, slander, and/or defamation.

I don't care if music promoters, music producers, or the RIAA is bothered by the truth.

We need to continue speaking truth to power, and attacking the RIAA WITH THE TRUTH!

My rant, and reason why I am not posting at Boycott-RIAA.

IS a festival more important than maintaining your intellectual honesty?

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24, 2004   Friday, June 25, 2004   Saturday, June 26, 2004   Sunday, June 27, 2004   Tuesday, June 29, 2004   Wednesday, June 30, 2004   Thursday, July 01, 2004   Friday, July 02, 2004   Saturday, July 03, 2004   Sunday, July 04, 2004   Monday, July 05, 2004   Tuesday, July 06, 2004   Wednesday, July 07, 2004   Thursday, July 08, 2004   Friday, July 09, 2004   Saturday, July 10, 2004   Sunday, July 11, 2004   Monday, July 12, 2004   Tuesday, July 13, 2004   Wednesday, July 14, 2004   Thursday, July 15, 2004   Friday, July 16, 2004   Saturday, July 17, 2004   Sunday, July 18, 2004   Monday, July 19, 2004   Tuesday, July 20, 2004   Wednesday, July 21, 2004   Friday, July 23, 2004   Friday, July 30, 2004   Monday, August 02, 2004   Tuesday, August 03, 2004   Wednesday, August 04, 2004   Thursday, August 05, 2004   Friday, August 06, 2004   Saturday, August 07, 2004   Sunday, August 08, 2004   Tuesday, August 10, 2004   Wednesday, August 11, 2004   Thursday, August 12, 2004   Friday, August 13, 2004   Saturday, August 14, 2004   Sunday, August 15, 2004   Monday, August 16, 2004   Tuesday, August 17, 2004   Friday, August 20, 2004   Saturday, August 21, 2004   Tuesday, August 24, 2004   Wednesday, August 25, 2004   Thursday, August 26, 2004   Friday, August 27, 2004   Sunday, August 29, 2004   Monday, August 30, 2004   Wednesday, September 01, 2004   Thursday, September 02, 2004   Friday, September 03, 2004   Saturday, September 04, 2004   Sunday, September 05, 2004   Monday, September 06, 2004   Tuesday, September 07, 2004   Wednesday, September 08, 2004   Thursday, September 09, 2004   Friday, September 10, 2004   Saturday, September 11, 2004   Sunday, September 12, 2004   Monday, September 13, 2004   Tuesday, September 14, 2004   Wednesday, September 15, 2004   Friday, September 17, 2004   Saturday, September 18, 2004   Sunday, September 19, 2004   Tuesday, September 21, 2004   Wednesday, September 22, 2004   Thursday, September 23, 2004   Friday, September 24, 2004   Saturday, September 25, 2004   Monday, September 27, 2004   Tuesday, September 28, 2004   Wednesday, September 29, 2004   Thursday, September 30, 2004   Friday, October 01, 2004   Saturday, October 02, 2004   Sunday, October 03, 2004   Monday, October 04, 2004   Tuesday, October 05, 2004   Wednesday, October 06, 2004   Thursday, October 07, 2004   Friday, October 08, 2004   Saturday, October 09, 2004   Sunday, October 10, 2004   Tuesday, October 12, 2004   Wednesday, October 13, 2004   Thursday, October 14, 2004   Friday, October 15, 2004   Saturday, October 16, 2004   Sunday, October 17, 2004   Monday, October 18, 2004   Tuesday, October 19, 2004   Wednesday, October 20, 2004   Thursday, October 21, 2004   Friday, October 22, 2004   Saturday, October 23, 2004   Sunday, October 24, 2004   Monday, October 25, 2004   Tuesday, October 26, 2004   Wednesday, October 27, 2004   Thursday, October 28, 2004   Friday, October 29, 2004   Saturday, October 30, 2004   Sunday, October 31, 2004   Monday, November 01, 2004   Tuesday, November 02, 2004   Wednesday, November 03, 2004   Thursday, November 04, 2004   Friday, November 05, 2004   Saturday, November 06, 2004   Sunday, November 07, 2004   Monday, November 08, 2004   Tuesday, November 09, 2004   Wednesday, November 10, 2004   Thursday, November 11, 2004   Friday, November 12, 2004   Saturday, November 13, 2004   Sunday, November 14, 2004   Monday, November 15, 2004   Tuesday, November 16, 2004   Wednesday, November 17, 2004   Thursday, November 18, 2004   Friday, November 19, 2004   Saturday, November 20, 2004   Sunday, November 21, 2004   Monday, November 22, 2004   Thursday, November 25, 2004   Friday, November 26, 2004   Saturday, November 27, 2004   Sunday, November 28, 2004   Tuesday, November 30, 2004   Wednesday, December 01, 2004   Thursday, December 02, 2004   Friday, December 03, 2004   Saturday, December 04, 2004   Tuesday, December 07, 2004   Wednesday, December 08, 2004   Thursday, December 09, 2004   Friday, December 10, 2004   Saturday, December 11, 2004   Sunday, December 12, 2004   Monday, December 13, 2004   Tuesday, December 14, 2004   Wednesday, December 15, 2004   Thursday, December 16, 2004   Friday, December 17, 2004   Sunday, December 19, 2004   Monday, December 20, 2004   Friday, December 24, 2004   Saturday, December 25, 2004   Sunday, December 26, 2004   Wednesday, December 29, 2004   Thursday, December 30, 2004   Friday, December 31, 2004   Monday, January 03, 2005   Wednesday, January 05, 2005   Thursday, January 06, 2005   Saturday, January 08, 2005   Sunday, January 09, 2005   Tuesday, January 11, 2005   Wednesday, January 12, 2005   Thursday, January 13, 2005   Saturday, January 15, 2005   Wednesday, January 19, 2005   Friday, January 21, 2005   Saturday, January 22, 2005   Sunday, January 23, 2005   Monday, January 24, 2005   Wednesday, January 26, 2005   Thursday, January 27, 2005   Friday, January 28, 2005   Saturday, January 29, 2005   Monday, January 31, 2005   Thursday, February 03, 2005   Friday, February 04, 2005   Saturday, February 05, 2005   Sunday, February 06, 2005   Monday, February 07, 2005   Tuesday, February 08, 2005   Wednesday, February 09, 2005   Thursday, February 10, 2005   Friday, February 11, 2005   Saturday, February 12, 2005   Sunday, February 13, 2005   Tuesday, February 15, 2005   Thursday, February 17, 2005   Saturday, February 19, 2005   Sunday, February 20, 2005   Wednesday, February 23, 2005   Saturday, February 26, 2005   Sunday, February 27, 2005   Monday, February 28, 2005   Wednesday, March 02, 2005   Thursday, March 03, 2005   Sunday, March 06, 2005   Tuesday, March 08, 2005   Wednesday, March 09, 2005   Thursday, March 10, 2005   Friday, March 11, 2005   Saturday, March 12, 2005   Sunday, March 13, 2005   Monday, March 14, 2005   Tuesday, March 15, 2005   Wednesday, March 16, 2005   Thursday, March 17, 2005   Friday, March 18, 2005   Saturday, March 19, 2005   Thursday, March 24, 2005   Friday, March 25, 2005   Saturday, March 26, 2005   Sunday, March 27, 2005   Wednesday, March 30, 2005   Thursday, March 31, 2005   Friday, April 01, 2005   Saturday, April 02, 2005   Sunday, April 03, 2005   Wednesday, April 06, 2005   Thursday, April 07, 2005   Saturday, April 09, 2005   Sunday, April 10, 2005   Monday, April 11, 2005   Thursday, April 14, 2005   Saturday, April 16, 2005   Sunday, April 17, 2005   Monday, April 18, 2005   Wednesday, April 20, 2005   Thursday, April 21, 2005   Friday, April 22, 2005   Saturday, April 23, 2005   Sunday, April 24, 2005   Tuesday, April 26, 2005   Friday, April 29, 2005   Saturday, April 30, 2005   Sunday, May 01, 2005   Monday, May 02, 2005   Tuesday, May 03, 2005   Wednesday, May 04, 2005   Thursday, May 05, 2005   Friday, May 06, 2005   Sunday, May 08, 2005   Wednesday, May 11, 2005   Thursday, May 12, 2005   Friday, May 13, 2005   Sunday, May 15, 2005   Monday, May 16, 2005   Wednesday, May 18, 2005   Thursday, May 19, 2005   Friday, May 20, 2005   Saturday, May 21, 2005   Sunday, May 22, 2005   Monday, May 23, 2005   Tuesday, May 24, 2005   Wednesday, May 25, 2005   Thursday, May 26, 2005   Friday, May 27, 2005   Saturday, May 28, 2005   Sunday, May 29, 2005   Monday, May 30, 2005   Tuesday, May 31, 2005   Wednesday, June 01, 2005   Thursday, June 02, 2005   Friday, June 03, 2005   Saturday, June 04, 2005   Sunday, June 05, 2005   Monday, June 06, 2005   Tuesday, June 07, 2005   Wednesday, June 08, 2005   Thursday, June 09, 2005   Friday, June 10, 2005   Sunday, June 12, 2005   Tuesday, June 14, 2005   Thursday, June 16, 2005   Friday, June 17, 2005   Saturday, June 18, 2005   Sunday, June 19, 2005   Monday, June 20, 2005   Tuesday, June 21, 2005   Thursday, June 23, 2005   Saturday, June 25, 2005   Sunday, June 26, 2005   Tuesday, June 28, 2005   Wednesday, June 29, 2005   Thursday, June 30, 2005   Friday, July 01, 2005   Saturday, July 02, 2005   Monday, July 04, 2005   Wednesday, July 06, 2005   Thursday, July 07, 2005   Saturday, July 09, 2005   Sunday, July 10, 2005   Friday, July 15, 2005   Sunday, July 17, 2005   Tuesday, July 19, 2005   Wednesday, July 20, 2005   Thursday, July 21, 2005   Saturday, July 23, 2005   Sunday, July 24, 2005   Tuesday, August 02, 2005   Thursday, August 04, 2005   Friday, August 05, 2005   Saturday, August 13, 2005   Wednesday, August 24, 2005   Friday, August 26, 2005   Saturday, August 27, 2005   Saturday, September 03, 2005   Wednesday, September 07, 2005   Thursday, September 08, 2005   Saturday, September 24, 2005   Wednesday, September 28, 2005   Wednesday, October 19, 2005   Thursday, October 20, 2005   Friday, October 21, 2005   Sunday, October 23, 2005   Wednesday, November 02, 2005   Monday, November 21, 2005   Wednesday, November 23, 2005   Friday, December 02, 2005   Saturday, December 10, 2005   Saturday, December 17, 2005   Sunday, December 18, 2005   Monday, December 19, 2005   Wednesday, December 21, 2005   Wednesday, January 04, 2006   Friday, January 06, 2006   Monday, January 09, 2006   Monday, January 16, 2006   Tuesday, January 17, 2006   Friday, January 20, 2006   Sunday, January 22, 2006   Saturday, January 28, 2006   Tuesday, January 31, 2006   Wednesday, February 01, 2006   Thursday, February 02, 2006   Wednesday, February 08, 2006   Thursday, February 09, 2006   Friday, February 10, 2006   Saturday, February 11, 2006   Sunday, February 12, 2006   Monday, February 13, 2006   Tuesday, February 14, 2006   Wednesday, February 15, 2006   Thursday, February 16, 2006   Saturday, February 18, 2006   Monday, February 20, 2006   Wednesday, February 22, 2006   Thursday, February 23, 2006   Sunday, March 05, 2006   Tuesday, March 07, 2006   Friday, March 24, 2006   Saturday, March 25, 2006   Wednesday, April 05, 2006   Thursday, April 06, 2006   Friday, April 07, 2006   Saturday, April 08, 2006   Tuesday, April 11, 2006   Monday, April 17, 2006   Tuesday, April 25, 2006   Thursday, April 27, 2006   Tuesday, May 09, 2006   Friday, May 12, 2006   Saturday, May 13, 2006   Sunday, May 14, 2006   Monday, May 15, 2006   Tuesday, May 16, 2006   Thursday, May 18, 2006   Friday, May 26, 2006   Sunday, May 28, 2006   Monday, May 29, 2006   Wednesday, May 31, 2006   Thursday, June 01, 2006   Sunday, June 04, 2006   Monday, June 05, 2006   Friday, June 09, 2006   Saturday, June 10, 2006   Sunday, June 11, 2006   Friday, June 16, 2006   Monday, June 19, 2006   Friday, June 23, 2006   Sunday, June 25, 2006   Tuesday, June 27, 2006   Wednesday, June 28, 2006   Friday, June 30, 2006   Sunday, July 09, 2006   Thursday, July 13, 2006   Friday, July 14, 2006   Saturday, July 15, 2006   Monday, July 17, 2006   Tuesday, July 18, 2006   Wednesday, July 19, 2006   Tuesday, July 25, 2006   Wednesday, July 26, 2006   Friday, July 28, 2006   Sunday, July 30, 2006   Monday, July 31, 2006   Thursday, August 03, 2006   Friday, August 04, 2006   Sunday, August 06, 2006   Monday, August 07, 2006   Wednesday, August 09, 2006   Thursday, August 10, 2006   Sunday, August 13, 2006   Tuesday, August 15, 2006   Thursday, August 17, 2006   Friday, August 18, 2006   Wednesday, September 06, 2006   Friday, September 08, 2006   Monday, September 11, 2006   Wednesday, September 13, 2006   Thursday, September 14, 2006   Friday, September 22, 2006   Saturday, September 23, 2006   Sunday, October 01, 2006   Tuesday, October 03, 2006   Monday, October 30, 2006   Monday, November 06, 2006   Tuesday, November 07, 2006   Sunday, November 12, 2006   Tuesday, November 21, 2006   Wednesday, November 22, 2006   Thursday, November 23, 2006   Friday, December 01, 2006   Monday, December 04, 2006   Tuesday, December 05, 2006   Thursday, December 14, 2006   Wednesday, December 20, 2006   Thursday, December 21, 2006   Friday, December 29, 2006   Wednesday, January 10, 2007   Thursday, January 11, 2007   Saturday, January 13, 2007   Monday, January 15, 2007   Wednesday, January 17, 2007   Saturday, January 20, 2007   Tuesday, January 23, 2007   Tuesday, February 20, 2007   Saturday, February 24, 2007   Sunday, February 25, 2007   Friday, March 23, 2007   Wednesday, April 04, 2007   Tuesday, April 10, 2007   Thursday, April 12, 2007   Friday, April 13, 2007   Thursday, April 19, 2007   Friday, April 20, 2007   Tuesday, April 24, 2007   Tuesday, May 08, 2007   Thursday, May 10, 2007   Friday, May 11, 2007   Monday, May 14, 2007   Tuesday, May 15, 2007   Sunday, May 20, 2007   Monday, May 21, 2007   Tuesday, May 22, 2007   Wednesday, May 23, 2007   Thursday, May 24, 2007   Sunday, May 27, 2007   Wednesday, May 30, 2007   Thursday, May 31, 2007   Friday, June 01, 2007   Monday, June 04, 2007   Wednesday, June 06, 2007   Saturday, June 09, 2007   Sunday, June 10, 2007   Monday, June 11, 2007   Friday, June 15, 2007   Tuesday, June 19, 2007   Tuesday, June 26, 2007   Wednesday, June 27, 2007   Thursday, June 28, 2007   Saturday, June 30, 2007   Monday, July 02, 2007   Tuesday, July 03, 2007   Friday, July 06, 2007   Tuesday, July 10, 2007   Friday, July 13, 2007   Tuesday, July 24, 2007   Saturday, July 28, 2007   Sunday, July 29, 2007   Monday, August 13, 2007   Sunday, August 19, 2007   Saturday, August 25, 2007   Monday, August 27, 2007   Wednesday, August 29, 2007   Friday, August 31, 2007   Friday, September 07, 2007   Wednesday, September 12, 2007   Wednesday, September 19, 2007   Friday, September 21, 2007   Friday, September 28, 2007   Tuesday, October 02, 2007   Thursday, October 11, 2007   Saturday, October 27, 2007   Thursday, November 01, 2007   Saturday, November 03, 2007   Monday, November 05, 2007   Wednesday, November 28, 2007   Tuesday, December 04, 2007   Tuesday, December 11, 2007   Friday, December 14, 2007   Friday, December 21, 2007   Tuesday, December 25, 2007   Saturday, December 29, 2007   Monday, January 07, 2008   Thursday, January 10, 2008   Saturday, January 12, 2008   Sunday, January 13, 2008   Tuesday, January 15, 2008   Friday, January 18, 2008   Saturday, January 19, 2008   Friday, January 25, 2008   Sunday, January 27, 2008   Monday, January 28, 2008   Tuesday, January 29, 2008   Sunday, February 03, 2008   Wednesday, February 06, 2008   Friday, February 08, 2008   Sunday, February 10, 2008   Monday, February 11, 2008   Tuesday, February 12, 2008   Monday, February 25, 2008   Tuesday, February 26, 2008   Monday, March 03, 2008   Tuesday, March 04, 2008   Saturday, March 22, 2008   Saturday, April 19, 2008   Wednesday, April 23, 2008   Saturday, April 26, 2008   Wednesday, April 30, 2008   Monday, May 05, 2008   Tuesday, May 13, 2008   Wednesday, May 14, 2008   Saturday, May 17, 2008   Tuesday, May 20, 2008   Saturday, May 24, 2008   Sunday, May 25, 2008   Thursday, June 12, 2008   Tuesday, June 17, 2008   Saturday, July 05, 2008   Tuesday, July 08, 2008   Monday, August 04, 2008   Thursday, August 28, 2008   Thursday, September 11, 2008   Saturday, September 20, 2008   Monday, September 22, 2008   Tuesday, September 23, 2008   Wednesday, September 24, 2008   Friday, September 26, 2008   Monday, September 29, 2008   Saturday, October 04, 2008   Wednesday, October 08, 2008   Thursday, October 09, 2008   Sunday, October 12, 2008   Wednesday, October 15, 2008   Wednesday, October 22, 2008   Thursday, October 23, 2008   Friday, October 24, 2008   Tuesday, October 28, 2008   Wednesday, October 29, 2008   Monday, November 03, 2008   Tuesday, November 04, 2008   Thursday, November 06, 2008   Saturday, November 08, 2008   Monday, November 10, 2008   Wednesday, November 19, 2008   Thursday, December 18, 2008   Monday, December 22, 2008   Sunday, January 11, 2009   Thursday, January 22, 2009   Monday, January 26, 2009   Thursday, February 19, 2009   Tuesday, February 24, 2009   Friday, February 27, 2009   Monday, March 02, 2009   Thursday, March 05, 2009   Wednesday, March 11, 2009   Thursday, March 12, 2009   Friday, March 13, 2009   Thursday, March 19, 2009   Monday, March 23, 2009   Friday, March 27, 2009   Saturday, March 28, 2009   Sunday, March 29, 2009   Thursday, April 02, 2009   Tuesday, April 07, 2009   Tuesday, April 14, 2009   Tuesday, April 21, 2009   Thursday, April 23, 2009   Saturday, April 25, 2009   Sunday, May 03, 2009   Wednesday, May 06, 2009   Tuesday, May 12, 2009   Wednesday, May 13, 2009   Thursday, May 14, 2009   Sunday, May 17, 2009   Tuesday, May 26, 2009   Wednesday, June 03, 2009   Thursday, June 04, 2009   Tuesday, June 09, 2009   Friday, June 12, 2009   Saturday, June 13, 2009   Sunday, June 14, 2009   Monday, June 22, 2009   Thursday, June 25, 2009   Saturday, July 11, 2009   Tuesday, July 14, 2009   Friday, July 24, 2009   Tuesday, August 18, 2009   Wednesday, August 19, 2009   Friday, August 21, 2009   Monday, August 24, 2009   Thursday, September 03, 2009   Wednesday, September 09, 2009   Thursday, September 10, 2009   Sunday, September 13, 2009   Monday, September 14, 2009   Tuesday, September 15, 2009   Wednesday, September 23, 2009   Friday, September 25, 2009   Sunday, September 27, 2009   Tuesday, September 29, 2009   Monday, November 02, 2009   Tuesday, November 10, 2009   Thursday, November 12, 2009   Tuesday, November 24, 2009   Thursday, February 25, 2010   Thursday, March 04, 2010   Wednesday, March 17, 2010   Tuesday, March 23, 2010   Friday, April 09, 2010   Friday, April 16, 2010   Wednesday, April 21, 2010   Thursday, April 22, 2010   Friday, April 23, 2010   Thursday, April 29, 2010   Sunday, May 02, 2010   Friday, May 07, 2010   Sunday, May 09, 2010   Monday, May 10, 2010   Tuesday, May 11, 2010   Tuesday, June 15, 2010  

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