SoundExchange Shuts Down SWCast For Lack Of Royalty Payments
April 25, 2011 at 4:06 AM (PT)
Not paying your royalty bills has consequences for internet radio, as SWCAST recently found out. SOUNDEXCHANGE, using The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, has successfully shut down SWCAST.NET for failure to pay it's fees "for years."
"In recent days, SOUNDEXCHANGE requested that access to Internet radio service SWCAST.NET be disabled by the hosting ISP in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the ISP’s terms of service.
"While regrettable, this step was necessary given SWCAST’s repeated claims that it is a 'provider of blanket music licensing and enhancement services' for online radio stations. SWCAST collected monthly fees from webcasters using its service, in exchange for (it claimed) satisfying all of the reporting and royalty obligations of its webcaster clients. Among the obligations specifically listed on its site are those reporting obligations and royalties paid to rights-holders by webcasters through SOUNDEXCHANGE.
SWCAST, however, does not provide the promised services. Specifically, and despite its claims, SWCAST has failed to abide by its obligations under the statutory license, did not pay anything to SOUNDEXCHANGE for years, and, as of the date of this letter, has not even attempted to make any payment to SOUNDEXCHANGE for any period after 2005. SWCAST has also never provided the reports of use that are clearly required by the statutory license."
The full SOUNDEXCHANGE letter can be read here.
SWCast Doesn't Disagree
In response, SWCAST Pres./CEO RANDALL KRAUSE responded on his website, writing to subscribers, "please hang in there. I am doing my best to work with SOUNDEXCHANGE and bring SWCAST NETWORK back online as quickly as possible. I look forward to working with each and every one of you to ensure your needs are being met during this time.
"It is without question that sound recording copyright owners and recording artists deserve to be properly remunerated for the exploitation of their works, in any commercial context. And I fully respect (and expect) SOUNDEXCHANGE for carrying out their mission to ensure that Webcasting services 'pay their dues' for the use of their members' creative works.
"I believe that it is for the benefit of our entire industry that we are able to work productively with SOUNDEXCHANGE to resolve these allegations in a timely manner. For this reason, I cannot disclose many of the details of the case until we have approached a point of closure."
Read the full response from SWCAST here.