Well, folks, the Librarian of Congress came back with his/her final ruling on the CARP’s Webcasting royalty recommendations…and it ain’t much better than the original.
In other words, we’re toast.
As of 2:00pm MST, Radio Free Tiny Pineapple will be closing its doors to the general public and will simply revert to what it was in the beginning: a way for me to listen to my CDs at work.
Tears will be shed, garments rent, sack-cloth and ashes worn.
But, if you’re unhappy about the ruling, don’t blame the Librarian of Congress. According to U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Rick Boucher:
We are moderately encouraged that the Librarian of Congress reduced the rates for Internet-only webcasters to the same level AM/FM radio Internet broadcasters. We remain very concerned, however, that this rate will lead to the elimination of hundreds of small businesses and does not provide a viable model to serve both the Internet radio industry and recording artists.
Unfortunately, these rates are a direct result of the flawed ‘willing-buyer/willing-seller’ standard that Congress mandated the Librarian of Congress use in determining these rates. Instead of assessing a fair rate, the flawed standard instead requires the arbitrators to try to replicate willing buyers and willing sellers in an already flawed marketplace.
While the Librarian of Congress clearly went to great lengths to change the burdensome Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP) ruling, we believe that such a contorted process and poor outcome can be avoided by changing the standard guiding the Librarian’s decision-making and removing other obstacles in current copyright law that were identified by the Librarian.