Category Archives: Music

High Rates for Internet Radio

New rates from Copyright Royalty Board, if unchallenged, would shut down great Internet radio stations like Accuradio and Pandora. According to this Wired News article, the new fees are a flat “$0.0011 per song per listener,” increasing to $0.0019 by 2010, and they are retroactive to 2006, at a rate of $0.0008.

Kurt Hanson of Accuradio and “Radio and Internet Newsletter” has a breakdown. “That math suggests that the royalty rate decision — for the performance alone, not even including composers’ royalties! — is in the in the ballpark of 100% or more of total revenues.” Meaning, it would cost webcasters more to operate than they can make from it.

Hanson told Wired News that “he doesn’t ‘think the people actually running the record labels want to see internet radio shut down,’ but that SoundExchange’s lawyers had planned ‘an aggressive, win-all-you-can battle in Washington. I think they were more successful than they expected to be.'”

If the lawyers didn’t intend to gain this much ground, I hope they back off when the rate change goes to congress. Speaking of congress, when is Mrs. Clinton going to decry the evil music industry for their corporate malpractice at the people’s expense?

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An Opportunity for a Hoax

The classical world is one of arduous work but also miracles of artistry. Every year brings child prodigies wise beyond their years. Meanwhile, the demise of major classical recording labels over the last decade has given rise to an uncountable number of independent labels. Among the many musicians turned out each year by the world’s conservatories, the unknown ones who record for such operations are often as talented and distinctive as those who fill seats at Carnegie Hall.

So writes David Patrick Stearns in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, “Ears don’t deceive – the CD covers do.” Partly for these reasons, the husband of a recently deceased pianist was able to republish under her name excellent concertos by musicians who were not readily known. When one critic put one of Joyce Hatto’s discs into his computer, it told him the performer was Laszlo Simon. You can read how that happened and exactly how the hoax of the greatest pianist of our time is currently unraveling on ClassicsToday.com.

James Brown on AccuRadio

I can’t confess to being a fan of James Brown, but I feel compelled to pass on this link to AccuRadio’s Classic Soul channel, which is playing a tribute to James Brown this month. “Throughout the month of January, we’re featuring dozens and dozens of songs by the Godfather of Soul, spanning the entire amazing career of The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” reports one of the best, if not the best, internet radio sites.

from “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates

As a precursor to tomorrow’s national holiday, let me repeat the lesser verses of “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929):

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Those stern, impassioned stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife

Who more than self their country loved,

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And every gain divine.