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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for March 20, 2002

Webcasts Forced to Shut Down - Many radio stations steaming their broadcasts on the web as well as web-only music stations have been forced to shut down operations because of new outrageously high royalty fees. These are in addition to the ASAP and BMI licenses all on air radio stations already pay. The fees proposed by the U.S. Copyright Office and strongly supported by the RIAA must still be approved by the librarian of Congress, but the deadline for comments was supposedly last week. The proposed fees are as follows: broadcast stations = 7 cents per listener for every selection streamed; web-only stations = 14 cents for same; college or community stations = 2 cents. Note that fee is Per Listener - meaning that if all readers of AUDIOPHILE AUDITION were at this moment listening online, it would cost us over $5000 to stream (for example) just one single track from a new CD we are auditioning for you! Because of the new rules at least 13 college and community stations have already ceased web streaming. The fee proposals may be studied at www.loc.gov/copyright/~carp/webcasting-rates.html and for the effort to counter the fees enter Save Our Streams in any search engine.

Blank CDs Outsell Recorded CDs - For the first time ever consumers spent more in 2001 on CD blank media for recording than they did on standard commercial pre-recorded CDs. 1.1 billion CD-Rs were sold but under 1 billion recorded CDs according to the RIAA.

AES Gets Into Subjective Reviewing - The Standards Committee of the Audio Engineering Society has issued a Call for Comment on a document published at their website (http://ftp.aessc.org/pub/aes20-1996.pdf) with the surprising title “Subjective Evaluation of Loudspeakers.”

AES Conference Focuses on Audio Home Delivery - A two-day conference will be presented in London April 15-16 by the UK AES section on “Audio Delivery: the changing home experience.” The conference chairman stated that hi-fi assumptions of 20 years ago no longer apply to consumer audio. Audio is being delivered to the home in new ways, both along and accompanied by pictures, text, video and hyperlinks. The rapid increase in data bandwidth has brought about new services and technologies providing audio in a variety of forms that will have a profound effect on every part of the audio industry.

Quebec Audio Show this Weekend - The 15th Festival Son et Image happens March 22nd thru 24th in the Delta and Four Points Hotels and Holiday Inn in Montreal. It is the largest exhibition of the home entertainment industry in Canada. More information on their website: www.hifiexpo.com

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