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How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement

Youtube Internet RadioIn the last several years, thousands of Internet users have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, also known as the RIAA. The charges: copyright infringement. With widespread availability of high speed connections, it has become more and more convenient for people to just download their favorite music, music video or movies. Over the years, this trend has become such a common practice that the film-making and music industries eventually noticed drastic decline in their sales. This observation compelled the RIAA to sue Internet users who had been identified downloading copyrighted materials. page_go Continue reading How YouTube Handles Copyright Infringement »

Catch me If You Can—The RIAA on MP3 Downloaders

RIAA LogoListening to music is a hobby for most people. Unlike before when you could only get music from record stores—which, unfortunately, many people would not afford— these days, it is quite easy and convenient to just download your favorites to enjoy at your leisure without the hassle of going out and buying the album. From a consumer perspective this is cool, right? But from the music industry perspective, this creates a never ending dilemma as sales continue to decline.

However, there is a legal alternative to getting free music by logging on to the Internet and finding websites that let you download your favorite hits. That alternative is streaming Internet radio. The Internet is always on and always available (well, almost always)….you will rarely find a person who does not use it, which makes Internet radio incredibly convenient. Since music files are all copyrighted materials, Internet radio providers often display ads to pay royalties to the recording companies, which in turn grant permission to play their copyrighted works. But, you say, I want the files on my computer…so what are the consequences of illegally downloading music?

Lawsuits Overview

Who hasn’t heard about the lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)? These case charges were filed against thousands of Internet users from all walks of life. Its goal is not only to preserve the integrity of the copyright materials but, most importantly, to augment declining music industry sales. After realizing that sales continue to drop and that the efforts made did not create significant impact Internet users whom they sued one by one, the RIAA has tweaked their complaints a bit.

A New Route

While these lawsuits are still on-going, it is geared towards a new direction. Instead of going after each Internet user that has downloaded a music file, a letter of complaint will be sent to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This made it more sensible and efficient for the RIAA. First, your ability to download music files is dependent on your Internet connection, hence once you are dropped by your ISP, you will no longer be able to download files. Second, collaborating with handful of ISPs is much easier than going to court to sue individuals. This initiative has allowed the RIAA to differentiate regular users from the list of illegal downloaders.

The Supreme Verdict

The RIAA has gone so far as to take their case to the Supreme Court, but because of the fact that the RIAA initiatives to stop music piracy and copyright infringement did not seem to work at all, the Supreme Court was compelled not to review the case. This decision has triggered another action from the RIAA. Instead of going after small-time downloaders, they will only go after those users who are uploading more than a thousand files. This means that even if you download copyright materials, you are safe from charges as long as you will not upload these files for someone else’s benefits…at least for the time being.

Illegal music downloading is no doubt hurting the music industry—many Internet users are attracted to the widespread availability of free music downloads online. The consequences, while currently being applied mainly to those that make music available for download, can be devastating. The RIAA has switched tactics before though, so we recommend sticking to streaming Internet radio in case they start targeting individuals again—it’s free, convenient and legal.

Current Events about Internet Radio

In 1998, President Bill Clinton passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA, was signed into law. It was signed to keep up with the changes of digital media innovations, and it protects copyrighted material that is accessible on the Internet. How does this law affect Internet radio? It limits radio stations online from copyright infringement and streaming music without paying royalties and licensing fees. This law created a lot of controversy between traditional radio station and radio stations on the Internet. In recent news, the controversy is shedding light again in Congress.

President Obama is now discussing royalty laws with Congress about traditional radio stations. In the current DMCA law, only radio online has to pay a royalty to performers in addition to the songwriter. They have to pay publishing and performance royalties. Currently, traditional radio stations only pay the publishing royalty which is paid to the songwriter and not the singer. Recent headlines in the news now report that the Obama administration is endorsing that radio stations must now pay performance royalties as well.

Record labels and recording artists miss out on money and recognition that is respectably theirs. Internet radio stations and other countries in the world pay the royalties to performers for their hard work to create amazing music and performances. Traditional radio stations in the United States are one of the only institutions that do not pay a royalty to the performer. The DMCA is unfair, and recording artists feel as if they are not being protected under the current copyright law.

Once again there is controversy between broadcasters, radio stations, and artists. A lot of famous musicians whose music is played on Internet Radio and traditional radio have been to Capitol Hill to support the passing of new copyright laws for traditional radio. Broadcasters believe that by passing the new royalty law jobs will be lost and record labels outside of the United States will gain high profits. The National Broadcasters Association believes they should not have to pay the royalty that Internet radio pays because by playing a band’s music they are encouraging listeners to buy their albums.

It is still unclear whether or not this issue will be brought into legislation this year or not. The Obama administration is simply stating that they endorse the performance royalties. Radio stations on the Internet and traditional radio stations play the same music and it is unfair that the Internet has to pay an additional fee. There should be fairness across the board and musicians should be able to collect for their talents.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

How the DMCA affects Internet Radio

The DMCA, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998. It is an American law that protects copyrights over the Internet. The radio industry has to pay a musician or band royalties when they play their music on their stations. This caused a big stir in the industry because traditional and online radio programs were being charged differently as to what royalties they had to pay.

One of the reasons the DMCA was signed into law was due to the fact that the Internet had largely influenced the music industry, and in some ways hindered it. Record sales for bands and musicians decreased by large amounts because people were downloading music off the Internet for free. A lot of down loaders were illegally file sharing, so there was not a need to go out and buy CDs anymore. Music sites online and radio programs could stream music for free.

Because of the growing popularity in the late 1990s, there was a lot of media attention and investing going on in the music industry online. Music companies and radio programs were making a lot of money online and musicians were making less. Stocks for certain online radio sites were doubling in value. Bands and musicians were really suffering during this time because most of their revenue was through record sales, especially if they were not touring.

One of the controversies of the DMCA was the unfairness of who had to pay what royalties. One way it affected Internet Radio was that they had to pay a royalty that traditional radio stations did not have too. Internet radio programs have to pay performance royalties and publishing royalties. The rates of the loyalties are very expensive and affected smaller, independently owned online radio sites. Big corporations could make the payment easily, but other companies were in danger of going out of business.

Because of the hard to pay royalties, music websites that streamed music for their listeners banded together to oppose the high fee. They had a silent protest and did not stream any music for an entire day. Due to the persistence of Internet radio stations, the law was revised. The law now states that royalties are now based on the revenue of the Internet station and there would not be a flat fee for royalties.

Even after the DMCA was passed, radio stations online have continued to thrive and grow their business. Radio programs on the Internet cater to a lot of different groups of people. You can listen to music from around the globe and find genre specific stations.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit