Print 28 comment(s) - last by dluther.. on Jul 19 at 12:16 AM

SoundExchange puts a stop on its royalty hike and decides to hash a new plan with webcasters

Several days ago, DailyTech reported the online radio industry was about to meet its end when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to put a stop on a new royalty scheme. Championed by SoundExchange, the new royalty scheme increases money flow for artists and labels.

Despite the court decision to go ahead with the new scheme, SoundExchange announced the new royalty scheme will be postponed, without any indication it will be continued. According to SoundExchange Executive Director Jon Simson, the group is in debate with online radio stations on an alternative plan, one that will allow them to continue their operation while compensating artists and labels.

The outcry by online radio stations was heard several weeks ago when a large number of stations banded together to protest against SoundExchange. While the government in large ignored the complaints, SoundExchange did listen -- even though it was the last entity on any stations' mind that would listen.

Pandora, one of the four largest online radio companies was one of many stations that took a stance against SoundExchange. Pandora founder Tim Westergren said users who called into Congress to voice against the changes all helped.

"This is a direct result of lobbying pressure, so if anyone thinks their call didn't matter, it did. That's why this is happening," said Westergren in a blog on Listening Post.

SoundExchange said it will now work closely with webcasters, large and small to form a new plan.

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RE: only in america
By Furen on 7/17/2007 12:13:12 AM , Rating: 5
I find it funny how you chose to quote "Others find themselves facing huge bills for prescription drugs they need to survive"... People in the US get massive bills for their medical care (lots of bankruptcies because of this), never mind the medicines needed to survive, even "mediocre" healthcare would be better for these people than no healthcare at all, or a mediocre HMO that doesn't cover them when they actually need it. I still don't understand why, exactly, a "free" (tax-payer supported) universal healthcare system would be mediocre... the VA is anything but mediocre and the government has an iron grip on it. The only problem with the VA, as I see it, is that it lacks the funding necessary to be outstanding (more money would equal more doctors, more hospitals, etc).

A few months ago I cut myself while cooking, so I called my doctor to try to set up an "emergency" appointment, he said he was swamped with work and that I should get care through emergency. So I went to the ER, waited for something like an hour while bleeding to death (well, not really), and ended up getting 4 stitches. The bill, $2,400. Hell, when I saw that I actually called my insurance company and asked if they were actually going to pay that highway-robbery price. They said that's pretty much in line with what they're usually charged.

Do you think that this is a much better system than the "mediocre" health care systems in other countries? I am fully insured yet had to wait for an hour for a rather simple "intervention"--and my insurance was charged $2.4k for the privilege. Heck, a few years ago I was in Mexico and split my forehead (no bone damage). I was rushed to a red cross hospital, waited for 10 minutes and was then under the care of a very skittish intern (very cute, too, but it's hard to make a pass on someone when you're bleeding). She did local anesthesia and 7 stitches in something like 20 minutes. Afterwards, when I tried paying for the service, I was told that it was free but I could give a donation, so I donated 50 bucks and was gone in about 30 minutes. Sure, I suppose being taken care of by an unsupervised intern would qualify as "mediocre" but hell, I was satisfied with the service, it was speedy and I didn't feel robed afterwards.

RE: only in america
By cscpianoman on 7/17/2007 8:38:28 AM , Rating: 3
The emergency room is not run on a first come first serve basis. It is done by the level of the emergency. The nurse looks at the severity of the injury and places the individual on the wait list accordingly. Is it right? No. But it has to be done because there are not enough ER doctors to take care of everyone. As a hemophiliac, I know the general rule is to not make a hemophiliac wait, for obvious reasons. If I wait an hour with a nasty cut, I would bleed to death.

RE: only in america
By TomZ on 7/17/2007 9:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
The healthcare system in the U.S. is the best in the world. You can't judge the "big picture" quality using anecdotes - you have to look at statistics. This is the same mistake that Michael Moore makes in his movie. It is also a way to manipulate when you show the worst of one system and compare that with the best of another system. Is that a valid comparison? No.

I don't believe that "free healthcare" should be given to every person. Same for free food, free cars, free housing, free money, etc. - all at taxpayer expense. That is a valid way to do things (works for Cuba), just not the way America does things. In America, you need to earn all these things, including your healthcare. Healthcare is available to everyone in America - you just have to earn it.

If you think that trashing out the current medical system due to its flaws makes sense, then you just need to look at the system in Canada as well as the VA hospitals that you mention. Probably a national healthcare system in the U.S. would be somewhere betweeen those two. Is that the type of system you want? I sure don't.

RE: only in america
By fic2 on 7/17/2007 1:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
The healthcare system in the U.S. is the best in the world. You can't judge the "big picture" quality using anecdotes - you have to look at statistics.

You say the U.S. is #1 and you imply that is from statistics. Where are your statistics? According to the World Healthcare Organization the U.S. ranks 37th. Canada is #30, France #1.

RE: only in america
By Targon on 7/18/2007 7:14:43 AM , Rating: 2
Right now, free health care is given to most illegal immigrants because they go to the hospital with no insurance, put down false information in the hospital, and then disappear. This is due to the law in many states that hospitals may not turn away patients for any reason.

RE: only in america
By andrew on 7/17/2007 9:18:03 AM , Rating: 3
no such thing as "free" healthcare... anywhere in the world... live in England for a year and see how you like going to the dr... those that can afford to buy extra health insurance do so because they can get into the see the dr on a timely basis, see a specialist, etc... it can take weeks to get a dental appt without extra insurance...

the reality is that you're taxed at about 40% of your income and about 30-35% of those taxes goes to pay for your healthcare... not "free" just hidden...

RE: only in america
By jskirwin on 7/17/2007 9:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
the reality is that you're taxed at about 40% of your income and about 30-35% of those taxes goes to pay for your healthcare... not "free" just hidden...

Exactly. While I support universal health care, I don't think that most people who do realize how big their tax bill is going to jump.

RE: only in america
By Furen on 7/17/2007 5:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
I never said it would be "free," I know this beast would be tax supported. I'm currently taxed at 35% of my income so if an extra 5% would get everyone in the States healthcare then be my guest and take it. I would ceirtainly get more satisfaction from providing my fellow americans with healthcare than I do from subsidizing "farmers", oil companies and Halliburton. Also, close the gaping carried-interest loophole so I don't feel like I'm getting raped while Schwarzman gets taxed at a comfy 15% rate because he invests other people 's money.

Having basic healthcare for everyone will ultimately lower the drain on the system because people will be get preventive healthcare which is much cheaper than the healthcare that is provided to people once they're collapsing on the streets, not to mention that mortality rates would also decrease. I also believe that medical regulations need to be relaxed a bit (for example, allowing nurses to provide some basic emergency services) in order to make medical services more expedient and cheaper than they currently are. Also, cap the hell out of malpractice suits (with the possible exception of gross negligence resulting in death/permanent damage).

RE: only in america
By porkpie on 7/17/2007 10:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
In any country with 'free' healthcare, the people pay just as much for it as we do here in America. The cost is just hidden from them in taxes.

And in ALL those countries, the people who can afford it, buy better healthcare elsewhere...often coming to the US itself. That says it all right there.

RE: only in america
By dude on 7/18/2007 1:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
Remember the story about the woman who died in the hospital ER? They wouldn't take care of her unless she goes outside and calls 911 something stupid like that, which was what, if memory serves me right, the hospital staff or the arresting officer told her (yes, the hospital was going to arrest her for lying about her condition!).

Personally, I've experienced a little over an hour wait when my contact lens ripped when I rubbed my eye, and was just waiting and waiting why my eye was bloodshot red and tearing all the while.

Then, my friend, which I rushed to the ER, had to wait almost 2 hours (!) while he was coughing blood all over the ER floor! This is Jefferson Hospital, supposedly one of the best in the country!

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