I won’t bore you with the typical David-and-Goliath analogy uppity writers like to spurt anytime a nobody nobody’s ever heard of starts picking fights with an evil corporation doing evil corporation-type shit. No way. This is more of a modern-day Fraggle Rock. You see, the Fraggles and the Gorgs each use radishes in their own way (radishes, in this case, being the internet licensing of polka music). And while the Gorgs believe themselves to be King and Queen of the Universe, they are, in reality, living an un-enriched life of assholedom, in effect oppressing the cute, songster Fraggles. Cue Fraggle mischief which ruefully points out Gorg inaneness, plus a big pile of trash (physical manifestation of the internet?!?) teeming with wisdom. Everything is interconnected -- and I’m not even going to get into the Doozers.
Nay, not since Connecticut librarians stood up for our right to lend Chicken Soup for the Enterprising Jihadist’s Soul in anonymity has a more unlikely, and duly respectable, contingent sought to challenge the status quo. But it’s not necessarily all Good v. Evil, like the guys upstairs like to make it out to be (to bring it back to Fraggle Rock, those are the “Silly Creatures of Outer Space”).
In a Fraggle-like move, the Polka America Corporation is working to provide an easy alternative to SoundExchange’s licensing program for the polka community. PAC, who is registering interested artists on its website, plans to license the artists’ music to qualifying stations free of charge. By an agreement with SoundExchange, PAC can license music in its database to “Internet polka broadcasters,” which include the online streams of “internet websites broadcasting polka music, all non-commercial educational radio stations that broadcast polka music, and commercial radio stations that simulcast on the Internet who have more than fifty (50) percent station polka programming.” Those stations would then be exempt from having to pay SoundExchange the equivalent fees for PAC licensed music. Stations that play non-PAC registered polka music would still be subject to SoundExchange regulations, and artists that sign up for the internet radio free polka can work with SoundExchange to collect their royalties for commercial and satellite radio broadcasts.
Basically, Wired’s The Listening Post Blog contains some discussion/information on how easy/hard this is to do, which situations such an agreement would apply to, various ways one can opt out of SoundExchange’s program, etc. etc.
It’s all very confusing, I assure you.