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McClure & Trowbridge Publishing
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BMI Publisher - Harry Fox Agency (NMPA) Publisher Principal - NARAS
 
[29 September 2000]
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (McClure & Trowbridge Publishing)
Song Shopping Center - http://TrowbridgePlanetEarth.com/T2/T2C1.html



"Greatest Threat To Freedom Of Speech Since Hitler" - Robert Pullman, Pres. Pullman Inc.

Dear Writer & Music Creator,

This is probably the most important letter you'll read this year concerning YOUR MUSIC and YOUR RIGHTS and FREEDOM. Robert Pullman is CEO of http://InetProgramming.com, a two-channel Inet Radio and Webcast company with branch offices in Jamaica, KY, and Washington/BC.

Pullman is erudite, educated, and has important things to say concerning RIAA, NMPA, and MPAA. If you aren't sure who or what these acronyms are, check http://TrowbridgePlanetEarth.com/T2/T2C1/T2C1Cat.html for news briefs.

PLEASE EMAIL THE SAMPLE LETTER TO THE EMAIL ADDRESSES ON THAT PAGE! AND TAKE THE 2 MINUTES TO FILL OUT SENATOR ORIN HATCH's ONLINE FORM REGISTERING YOUR SUPPORT OF INDEPENDENT RIGHTS FOR YOUR MUSIC ONLINE.

WE WILL LOSE OUR RIGHT TO COLLECT ROYALTY PAYMENTS FOR OUR MUSIC ONLINE IF WE DON'T STOP THE RIAA, NMPA, AND MPAA NOW. Bob Pullman had essentially the same experience, but with RIAA, as we had with HFA-NMPA. Instead of embracing new technology and expansion in the music industry, RIAA/NMPA/MPAA fear the new technology and pushed both Bob and us into a defensive posture, alienating the very people and companies who can lead them into the new lucrative markets!

Speaking at length with Bob, parallels in our backgrounds became evident. Both Bob and I (George McClure) have or have had more-than-Top Secret Federal security clearances. Both Bob and I are highly trained computer experts who have worked at high levels in government defense projects. Both of us are integrally involved in the entertainment/music industry and the Internet.

The RIAA fears Bob's knowledge in starting and running an Inet Radio and Webcast station. NMPA fears George McClure's knowledge in designing and running Inet publishing and mp3/CD music sites. Both Bob and I had the initial reaction of amazement that these people were shutting us out. We both proceeded in every way following social protocol. We are the very people they need the most, and both Bob and I went TO them with open arms to collaborate. Hence our Press Release "Ed Murphy You Are A Coward". They are afraid to face the unknown, alienating those with knowledge instead of embracing us.

Here is Bob Pullman's letter to me. He gave us permission to release it to the Press:

"George: I'm glad to see you making readers aware of the situation with independents and the RIAA. What we have here, is a situation that is the greatest threat to freedom of speech in this country since Hitler. This situation began with the Dig Mill [Digital Millenium] Act....take a gander through the act and read it carefully. You will find that it violates freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and freedom of speech. If this piece of legislation was taken to the Supreme Court it would be thrown out. (Somebody needs to do this!)

"I became very familiar with this act when I set up Inetprogramming.com for internet broadcasting. Webcasters are basically told when they can run material, how often they can run material and whether they can keep an electronic version of the material on the gear past a certain time limit. Can you imagine going up to a standard radio broadcaster and stating these same demands? You would get thrown out the door.

"In order to begin broadcasting we first tested the technology to see if we could in fact transmit a quality output that listeners would stay tuned to. Only within the past year has the quality been comparable to AM radio. That quality has come with Mp3 technology and now java audio. While a broadcaster could send FM quality down the pipeline to listeners the cost per person is absolutely horrendous compared to regular broadcasters. In fact there is no comparison. Quality means bandwidth and on the internet that means money...lots of money....and eating bandwidth means only limited listeners can listen. There is no possibility that a webcaster will be able to compete with the standard over the air or satellite broadcasters. There is a massive myth that the internet has high speed...and that it is a threat. In actual fact until the world is wired with fiberoptic drops to each listeners abode the odds of making any serious impact in the industry is almost nill. While so called experts talk about high speed bandwidth we are realistically looking at 5 to 10 years or longer before households are wired sufficiently to handle high quality transmissions.

"When we started Inetprogramming I went through and contacted SESAC, BMI, and ASCAP - since there is no one source for music licensing and no standards between groups on procedures, it was very difficult to even figure out the forms. All I saw were groups that wanted my money but didn't have any firm specifics on the business....all I saw were blanket licenses. All I saw was someone making a buck off of artists but no guarantees that the artists ever saw any return. All I saw was "we want our cut but we don't know anything about the web or webcasting....but we've got this piece of legislation that says we are entitled to a piece of the action (with none of the liability)".

"I also contacted the RIAA about web licensing since like the other organizations, they said they had a web license. Unlike BMI, SESAC, and ASCAP they did not have a standard procedure or form or contracts - I thought this was an oversight on my part looking throught their website. So I contacted them. They replied that they could negotiate a license, and would we please send them some information on our operation so that they could work with us on getting a license. I sent them a rather lengthy reply and that was the last I heard from them.

"At the time we were test running a local Seattle radio station on one stream and the day after we sent the RIAA the info the NAB sued them. I had made a point of working with the station on licensing definition and they were firm in their statement that they already held ASCAP and BMI licenses and in no way were they to be held in need of duplicate licenses...the music was already licensed and anything further was duplication.

"The RIAA arguement that appeared in the press at this time was that they felt the webcast of the station was in effect a duplicate recording. This is the most absurd idea ever proposed in any industry. A computer output is nothing more than a transmission box...just a transmitter at the end of the board. Any other attempted definition is ludicrous. Since the RIAA has attempted to defend this action and has never had a footstep in this area I see the whole attempt has nothing more than pure greed - its this greed that gives the recording industry such a rotten name - a name that it has worn for the last fifty years.

"As such George, I have to give my entire support to the independent labels and artists in this massive fight. No where in all the discussions and meetings does the RIAA, or for that matter most entertainment companies, ever look at the fact that webcasting is not a threat but an extension of the industry. No where have they examined the fact that the possiblities of making money are very limited. They seem to think that millions of dollars are being lost in unpaid royalties...when in fact if there is a broadcaster on the internet who is making one million dollars webcasting nobody knows who that individual is. We are in the webcasting field because we feel that yes it is the future and we want to grow with the technology until such a day arises that indeed one can make a living off of the process.

"We already have a broadcast industry that has gone belly up because of the regulations and extreme costs associated with the music industry. Thousands of stations have gone off the air in the last decade because of outdated greedy philosophy. The Internet has brought back creativity and outlets for exposure...outlets at a price the little guy can afford. One must remember that this country is built upon small businesses and freedom of speech. The RIAA wants to price the little guy out of the field by imposing regulations and procedures it does not even dare attempt to impose on professional broadcasters. In other words we have two standards...one for the rich and one for the poor. Creativity and change is the greatest threat to the old guard and threatens to upset the balance of greed. The internet is that threat. The RIAA wants to suffocate the growth and maintain the status quo (see all the lawsuits). They use the excuse that they are helping artists and recording companies...its alot of crock.....they are only interested in one thing - making as much money as they can for themselves. There has never been any innovation that has ever come from big monopolitic operations - innovation always comes from the little guy.

"In this country we have fought wars for freedom, just to make sure threats of this nature never rule. Having read the Dig Mil Act and seen how it tramples on the basic freedoms this country is built on, and having seen the face of greed through RIAA, I can only agree with you that we are facing a most grave threat. If the RIAA is allowed to accomplish their goals they will suffocate the independent movement and keep control of the industry in the hands of those who control it now...the ones that give the whole music industry a rotten name.

"So George please inform your readers that we will be happy to work with independents to get them airplay and exposure. If we are so lucky as to gain enough content, and support, we would move to broadcast all independent material 24x7. I spent 8 years on the road with a band years ago, and considerable time in the entertainment industry, and it is ironic that after decades and decades nothing has changed for the better. Hopefully we can battle this threat against American freedom....a threat no less dangerous than Hitler was.

Robert Pullman President
Pullman Incorporated Seattle

pullman@pullman.net
http://inetprogramming.com
http://pullman.net
http://pullmanincorporated.com
425 226 0677"


Cordially,
McClure & Trowbridge Publishing


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