Forcing Digital Rights Management into Internet radio!

Has all of the drama over the past few months on the increase in payment rates that streaming radio stations would have to pay be tied back ultimately to DRM.

If you look at what has transpired over the past couple of months, SoundExchange was able to push through astronomical rate increases through the copyright board that would have devastated the online radio business. They knew this from the very start, and the provision were so ridiculous that they had to know the backlash that would result.

Then in the 12th hour they made some overtures of being nice in delaying the price increase when they could have done so months earlier! SoundExchange announced a reprieve in the pricing increase. But as always the devil is in the details.

I firmly believe that the SoundExchange has pulled of an amazing bait and switch, in a statement they released it is obvious what their true objectives really are.

 “SoundExchange has offered to cap the $500 per channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for webcasters who agree to provide more detailed reporting of the music that they play and work to stop users from engaging in ‘streamripping’—turning Internet radio performances into a digital music library,”

This tells me that the SoundExchange has been planning this all along, and now will have the political clout to twist the arm of Internet streamers. This is like saying oh you can have the lower rates if you implement DRM but if you don’t we are going to stick you with the new rate plan, and you will pay dearly for not doing as we desire.

This is best double play in years and sadly those that are most at risk remain the small players, as most will not have the technology nor the funds to implement DRM on streaming media. In the end consumers once again loose big time!