Old 15th April 2011, 19:03   #1
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Email from SoundExchange about SWCast

I posted about this over at LoudCity, but thought it appropriate here as well.

I received this email today about the status of my SWCast station.

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a courtesy notice provided to you by SoundExchange regarding the current compliance status of your webcasting station. As you may know, SoundExchange, Inc. is the non-profit entity designated by the Copyright Royalty Board to collect royalties owed under the statutory license for the public performance of sound recordings via certain noninteractive digital audio transmissions (e.g., “webcasting”) and the making of certain ephemeral phonorecords. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 112(e), 114; 37 C.F.R. Parts 370, 380 (the “Statutory License”). SoundExchange, in turn, distributes the royalties it collects to the performing artists and copyright owners of such sound recordings.

We write to you regarding your webcasting service that has been made available through SWCast.net (“SWCast”). SWCast purports to be an Internet radio service for small webcasters and a “provider of blanket music licensing and enhancement services” for online radio stations. As part of its services, SWCast offers a so-called “Joint Performance Licensing Program” (“JPL Program”). Through the JPL program, SWCast offers, for a fee, to satisfy all of the reporting and royalty obligations of its webcaster clients whose streaming it hosts and manages (the “Webcaster Clients”). Among the obligations specifically listed are those reporting obligations and royalties paid to rights-holders by webcasters through SoundExchange. SWCast promises to provide “small U.S. Webcasters with the licensing coverage, expertise, and peace of mind they need,” in exchange for monthly payments from its Webcaster Clients.

SWCast, however, does not provide the promised services. Specifically, and despite its claims, SWCast has completely 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.

SoundExchange has tried for months to rectify this unacceptable situation with SWCast, to no avail. Accordingly, on March 28, 2011, SoundExchange sent a letter to the Internet service provider for SWCast.net informing the ISP that SWCast.net had failed to comply with the terms of the statutory license, was engaging and/or assisting in infringing activity and had violated the ISP’s terms of service. The letter requested that the ISP disable access to the SWCast.net site, in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the ISP’s terms of service.

We are writing to you to inform you of SWCast’s failure to comply with the terms of the statutory license. If you wish to rely on the statutory license for your webcasting service going forward, you may decide to submit royalty payments, statements of account and reports of use directly to SoundExchange, or you may decide to rely on a different third party to submit such materials and payments to SoundExchange on your behalf. Please let us know by May 6, 2011 how you intend to proceed. If you wish to submit materials and payments directly to SoundExchange, you may use the rates, forms and other information provided on SoundExchange’s web site at http://www.soundexchange.com/service.../how-do-i-pay/. Please note that SoundExchange does not endorse any particular third-party service and that – should a third-party service fail to meet its obligations on your behalf going forward – you remain ultimately responsible for your own service’s compliance with the terms of the statutory license.

If you have any questions, please review our web site at www.soundexchange.com or feel free to contact our licensing and enforcement department at 202.559.0555 or L&E@soundexchange.com.

* * *

This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members’ right to recover damages incurred by virtue of any unlicensed transmissions or reproductions of copyrighted sound recordings, and such rights as well as claims for other relief are expressly retained. Also, please be advised that SoundExchange does not make any determination as to whether a service is in fact eligible to use the Statutory License. Instead, the applicable authorization for such services to publicly perform sound recordings derives from federal law, and eligibility for such activity is thus a matter of law. Accordingly, SoundExchange’s acceptance of notices of use, payments, statements of account, or reports of use does not express or imply any acknowledgment that a service is in fact eligible for or otherwise in compliance with the requirements of the Statutory License. If you have questions about whether your service is eligible for the Statutory License, you should consult your own legal counsel for advice.


Brad Prendergast
SoundExchange, Inc.
1121 Fourteenth St. NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202-559-0550
Fax: 202-640-5883
email: bprendergast@soundexchange.com
I called Brad immediately and did verify with him that SoundExchange has *no* problems with LoudCity. I'll be signing up soon. (I really should have a long time ago). I also emailed him back at his @soundexchange.com email address and he emailed back to verify he is actually an employee there.

The SWCast site itself is down, and my station link there is now redirecting to something called Zazzle. I'm moving asap.
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Old 16th April 2011, 16:53   #2
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Just to let everyone know that Loudcity is a sister company to Loudcaster the difference is this:

Loudcity: You pick the shoutcast hosting company and they provide the license for a starting fee of $35/mo for hobby broadcasting.

Loudcaster: Provides the servers, AutoDJ (10 GB's to start) and licensing. You can start for a very small fee and get more than most Shoutcast hosting companies provide. Think of it as a fast track to getting on the air as apposed to serching the web for a Shoutcast host and having to deal with trial and error.

I just hope either we can prosecute SWCast and get restitution for our hard earned $$ or force them to pony up the money we all gave them to the copyright police lol. Either way hundreds of stations who on good faith including myself thought we were legal (and sometimes we boasted about it) and to find out we were all victims of yet another internet scam. It won't look good now for companies like Loudcaster and Loudcity who've always dealt fairly with both their subscribers and the RIAA,Sound Exchange,BMI. I am really Ped off and I feel I was a big fool for paying them the $13/mo for an entire yr or more before I wised up and switched to Loudcaster.

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Old 20th April 2011, 06:22   #3
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Old 20th April 2011, 06:29   #4
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I have been taking loud caster for a spin, and so far Im pleased. Not too shabby.

What really scares me about SWCast is that if they didn't pay SX, they may have not payed BMI or ASCAP Either. Then they REALLY screwed all the broadcasters they have.

I have a new fuel to finish my project. I so need to get HobbyCaster back up and running. Time to start saving up to pay the lawyer.
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Old 21st April 2011, 00:03   #5
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Many SWCast broadcasters may have had their stations stop streaming due to the apparent disabling of the SWCast website. This is an unfortunate turn of events within the Internet radio community.

Since 1999, Live365 has given thousands of webcasters a platform to legally stream their favorite content online. Live365 continues to be compliant with all required music royalty entities including SoundExchange, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. All of our streaming data is reported and paid for to ensure fair and accurate compensation to artists and copyright holders.

Live365 offers a number of affordable and legal streaming packages for all types of broadcasters. To learn more about Live365’s broadcasting services, please contact 1-800-294-4777 x123. Mention that you are a current SWCast broadcaster for a special discount.
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Old 4th May 2011, 05:33   #6
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Just posted on the SWCast.net site:

Dear Valued Members:

I know that many Personal Broadcast Services members have held out for quite some time in anticipation of a resolution. I certainly do appreciate your patience and apologize for the delay. As I promised, I have every intent of bringing SWCast Network back online. And the continued pursuit of a resolution has likewise, not changed.

Although I am not yet entitled to disclose our discussions with SoundExchange, per the advice of my counsel, I do want to provide our clients with insight into my plans for the company and important instructions as we move forward on what will eventually be a relaunching and rebranding of our service as a whole.

The publicity that we've garnered, from the recent media coverage, has in fact opened up many new opportunities for SWCast Network as a company, including several investment prospects on the horizon, which I thoroughly intend to explore. Affordable Webcasting solutions will always remain a principal focus. However, I believe that reconceptualizing our service offerings, is a much needed step forward as well. Leveraging the existing licensing platform that I've developed these past eight years, while adapting to the changing marketplace for Internet radio, including emerging streaming media technologies, is the direction that I want to take SWCast Network in the coming years.

That is invariably the good news — in a nutshell. Now onto how I endeavor to realize this:

Given the sensitive nature of our ongoing discussions with SoundExchange partnered with the pursuit of these new business ventures, comes of course the reality for our many devoted clients: Until the launch of our new service, we are not able to accomodate any customers at this time. This is assuredly temporary, but nonetheless an imperative business measure.

Once again, this was purely an executive decision. Due to the encroaching deadline and my concern for the liability of our customers, it had to be made. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. In the interim, Personal Broadcast Services Members will likely have to seek alternative licensing or remain off the air from this date forward.

I cannot advise any specific arrangement, but I do caution streaming without a license, as you may incur significant penalties for copyright infringement. Below are several sites that can provide you with information on licensing, in the interim:


I personally believe that it will be in the best interests of SWCast Network, including our many faithful listeners and broadcasters, to explore the most promising avenues for the company.

Respectfully Yours,

Randall Krause
President & Founder
SWCast Network, Inc.
Unless I'm reading it wrong, he intends to use the negative publicity to start what is essentially a whole new company...
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Old 4th May 2011, 13:27   #7
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that's how i've read it as well that from bad publicity a new venture / means is going to be done to screw people over (again) as it clearly shows that it must be profitable to do what has been going on from people trying to do the right thing in the first place (sadly how it is with so many other things where you try to do the right thing but those not doing it come out better than you do).

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