By Kent Larsen
LDS Radio 'Instrumental' Channel Suspended
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- One of the two channels in the LDS Radio
Network, LDS Instrumental, has been temporarily suspended due to
copyright concerns. These same concerns have shut down hundreds of
on-line radio stations as broadcasters realize they may have to pay
composers, artists, record labels and performers additional royalties
for using their works on the Internet in addition to traditional
broadcast media. LDS Instrumental broadcast music from several LDS
record labels over the Internet and through digital satellite
transmissions to cable TV systems that currently carry BYU-TV. Its
sister-channel, LDS Radio, continues to broadcast, but could be
affected in the future.
David Gray of Mstar.net, the LDS Church-owned non-profit company that
provides LDS Radio, the LDSWorld.com website, the mstar.net Internet
provider and similar electronic products, told Mormon News today that
he had shut down LDS Instrumental because of the confusing situation.
In recent weeks, many radio stations that had broadcast their radio
programming on the Internet have shut down their transmissions
because of the problem.
Broadcaster Clear Channel Communications started the trend under
pressure from its advertisers, who were faced with additional fees
due to actors who worked in their radio commercials. Normally paid
based on the size of the audience, the actors sought, and won in
contract negotiations last Fall, payment for the broadcast of their
work to the new Internet audience. In addition to Clear Channel
Communications' more than 750 radio stations with Internet
broadcasts, many other station owners, including LDS Church-owned
Bonneville International's stations, such as Salt Lake City's KSL
Radio, have suspended Internet broadcasts.
Other radio stations and networks, including those serviced by
StreamAudio.com, have taken a different approach, instead removing
ads from radio programming and replacing them with Internet-specific
advertising. But this approach doesn't solve the entire problem,
according to Mstar's Gray. He reports that for a broadcast, as many
as three separate organizations in the US might need to be paid.
Composers may need to be paid through their organization, ASCAP.
Record Labels and artists may need to be paid through the RIAA, and
actors and other vocal talent may need to be paid through AFTRA,
their union. LDS Instrumental didn't even carry commercials, but Gray
says it could still need to pay the composers, record labels, artists
and others who produced the work it broadcasts.
The situation has frustrated broadcasters, who feel they are loosing
a way to expand their audience before they could develop it. Darren
Harle, co-founder and chief operating officer of StreamAudio.com,
says that the actors are trying to get money that doesn't exist yet,
because no one is making money on the Internet broadcasts. "Everybody
still wants a piece of the Internet pie that doesn't exist yet,"
Harle told InternetNews.com for an April 11th story. "The fact is
that nobody is making additional revenue for on-air ads being
rebroadcast over the Internet." This also means that there is no
money to pay composers, record labels or artists for Internet
But not everyone is at risk because of the practice. KZION.com,
another Internet radio station aimed at LDS Church members, has
approached record labels and artists directly for permission to
broadcast their work. Since the nascent Internet radio station's
broadcasts don't originate on traditional radio, it doesn't need to
filter out commercials, nor do artists expect the same radio fees
they might otherwise get.
Meanwhile, Gray says he expects the situation to be resolved in a few
months -- or not at all. Clear Channel and other large groups of
radio stations, including Bonneville, are at work on the problem, and
expect to reach a compromise with actors, artists, labels and
composers that will allow incremental broadcasts of radio programming.
Mormon News Interview with David Gray
When the Music's Over...
Internetnews.com 11Apr01 B3
By Clint Boulton