This came across my virtual desk.  Thought I'd share.  I'll clean it up a bit later.

For those playing along at home.  The RIAA is the five big record companies.  the NMPA is the songwriters and publishers.

 > On Monday, January 28, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) begins the
 > hearing that will determine mechanical rates for every songwriter
 > music publisher in America. It will be the most important rate
 > hearing in the history of the music industry because in addition to
 > setting rates for physical products, rates will be set for the first
 > time ever for digital products such as digital downloads,
 > services and ringtones.
 > The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) will be
 > the interests of songwriters and music publishers and will be
 > vigorously to protect those interests to ensure that musical
 > compositions are compensated fairly.
 > On the other side of this fight stands the Recording Industry
 > Association of America (RIAA) and the Digital Music Association
 > (DiMA). Both the RIAA and DiMA have proposed significant reductions
 > in mechanical royalty rates that would be disastrous for songwriters
 > and music publishers. This is literally a fight for the survival of
 > our industry.
 > To give you an example of what is at stake, the current rate for
 > physical phonorecords is 9.1 cents. The NMPA is proposing an
 > to 12.5 cents per song. The RIAA, however, has proposed slashing the
 > rate to approximately 6 cents a song - a cut of more than one-third
 > the current rate!
 > For permanent digital downloads, NMPA is proposing a rate of 15
 > per track because the costs involved are much less than for physical
 > products. The RIAA has proposed the outrageous rate of approximately
 > 5 - 5.5 cents per track, and DiMA is proposing even less.
 > If you find that troubling, it gets worse. For interactive streaming
 > services, which some analysts believe will be the future of the
 > industry, NMPA is proposing a rate of the greater of 12.5% of
 > 27.5% of content costs, or a micro-penny calculation based on usage.
 > The RIAA actually proposed that songwriters and music publishers
 > should get the equivalent of .58% of revenue. This isn't a typo -
 > less than 1%. And DiMA is taking the shocking and offensive position
 > that songwriters' and music publishers' mechanical rights should be
 > zero, because DiMA does not believe we have any such rights!
 > The initial hearing will last four weeks, with the three permanent
 > Copyright Royalty Judges hearing arguments Mondays through Thursdays
 > from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm each day. At the conclusion of the initial
 > hearing, there will be more discovery, followed by a rebuttal
 > in May, and a final decision expected on October 2.
 > The NMPA will be spending millions dollars in this proceeding to
 > protect the interests of songwriters and music publishers against
 > much larger record labels and digital media companies. And although
 > we face such an enormous fight, we have an incredible advantage - we
 > represent songwriters, without whom the record labels and digital
 > music services could not exist.
 > Please forward this to anyone who is involved in the songwriting and
 > music publishing industry. We will be sending out regular updates as
 > the CRB progresses to keep you informed. Through your networks, we
 > hope to reach the vast majority of the industry. If you did not
 > receive this directly, and would like to be added to the master NMPA
 > communications list, please send your contact information to Jamie
 > Marotta at


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28 January 2008