Internet Radio

I’d be willing to bet that almost everyone reading this has listened to internet radio before. I’d be further willing to bet that half of those reading (that would equal to what, 4?) have bought music they heard ONLY on internet radio; music not found on Clear Channel’s poor excuse for broadcast radio. Am I right?

Well, now’s the time to band together to fight injustice people. We’ve got to don our capes, tights, and computers to take down those who want to make internet radio obsolete.

As mentioned in this post, the RIAA sucks. We all know this. But guess who else has sunken to a new low? The Copyright Royalty Board, part of the Library of Congress. They, at the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, have, well, you know what? I’ll just post this little blurb from SaveNetRadio.org to better explain:

“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!”

Basically the CRB wants to force internet radio broadcasters to pay much more than what was previously agreed upon, and this decision would be effective January 2006, making it retroactive and subsequently bankrupting internet radio stations immediately.

Here’s an excerpt from a nice page of Myths and Facts on the SaveNetRadio.org page:

“MYTH: The rate is only increasing from 7/100 of a penny per song streamed to 19/100 of a penny per song streamed over a 5-year period.

FACT: Nearly tripling the per-song royalty rate is only the first insult.

* No Revenue-based Royalty Option. Prior to this decision all small webcasters and some large webcasters had the choice of paying royalties based on a percentage of their revenue that typically equaled 10-12%. But the CRB decision did not offer a revenue-based royalty option for any webcasters.
* Retroactive Impact. The CRB decision is effective as of January 2006, so if it actually becomes effective for only one day its impact will be immediate as the past due royalties alone will be enough to bankrupt virtually all small and mid-sized webcasters.
* Per Station Minimum. The CRB piled on even more, by imposing a $500 per channel minimum royalty that for many services will far exceed the annual royalties that would otherwise be due even after the CRB decision. One advantage of Internet radio is that it is not limited by spectrum capacity or bandwidth capacity, which enables several services literally to offer 10,000 or 100,000 stations and more. By penalizing this innovation and creativity the CRB further ensures that Internet radio will become less creative, less dynamic, less of an opportunity for non-mainstream artists and genres, and will look more like broadcast radio in the future.”

It may seem like this is an overreaction on everyone’s part, but I’d rather overreact and save internet radio than not do anything at all and see it disappear. The money I’ve spent on artists I’ve heard on internet radio in the last two to three years would have to be close to eclipsing the money I spent on artists before I began listening to internet radio. That’s a lot of money generated by the very thing the RIAA would have you believe robs artists of royalties. In actuality, the RIAA and CRB would be preventing numerous amounts of artists from getting their music heard.

Music is extremely important to me, so this is a big deal. Yet even if you’re only mildly interested in music, you’ve got to see that this is just another example of the Big Bad Business trying to squash their tiny competitors for financial gain. Please, please, please visit SaveNetRadio.org to find out how you can help save internet radio. I’m not sure how many people are still reading my little blog, but if only 4 people do this and pass it on to their friends, I’ll be happy.

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4 Responses

  1. I’ve taken action. Thanks for bringing this to light!

  2. I started to read this but had to get to work then while listening to net radio I heard an ad for that site. I went to it and thought, does Caroline know about this? Yeah you do. I will see what I can do.

  3. Elizabeth and Kevin – Thanks for doing something about it. I know that in the grand scheme of things this doesn’t matter much, but to me it’s a VERY big deal. I’m glad you guys embraced it rather than laughed it away. 🙂

  4. […] when I asked for your support in keeping internet radio on the air? Well, I’m here […]

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