If you’re like me and listen to net radio or music streamed over the net please read the post below if we all act on June 26 and call our Representatives maybe we can continue to enjoy free music on the web.
The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!).
[audio:SaveNetRadio.mp3] Save Net Radio Promo
To protest these rates and encourage the millions of net radio listeners to take action and contact their Congressional representatives, a national Day of Silence will be held June 26. Webcasters across the country will observe this day of silence in a number of ways, including dedicating entire programs to the campaign to save Internet Radio and broadcasting complete silence. For an updated list of the participants in this national day of silence, visit http://www.kurthanson.com/dos/. Webcasters who would like to participate in the day of silence, place contact the SaveNetRadio coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org. Net radio listeners, please excuse the interruption of your normal programming and take action to ensure this silence is not permanent. Click the banner at the top of the page to get the phone number of your Congressional Representatives today.
A little of the back story.
On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio’s royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future.
At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 – that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters’ royalties will grow exponentially!
Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop. Without a doubt most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters’ demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio. Surviving webcasters will need sweetheart licenses that major record labels will be only too happy to offer, so long as the webcaster permits the major label to control the programming and playlist. Is that the Internet radio you care to hear?