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Monday, April 23, 2007


Things aren't looking good for Internet Radio

Independent Internet radio is on the verge of being wiped out.
Well, maybe not entirely wiped out, but pretty close. If you've ever had the commercial-free pleasure of listening to streaming music from Radio Paradise, Pandora, or SomaFM (which is dubiously down as of this writing...), to name a few, get ready to find your fix elsewhere. I don't have it in me to run down what's going on in detail--you can find out more at the above mentioned Radio Paradise, Pandora, or at SaveNetRadio.org--but basically, indy-internet radio stations like these are about to be squeezed out of existence by Copyright Royalty extortion. As Schuyler Erle, blogger at O'Reilly's OnLamp wrote:
...to stay on the air, SomaFM will have to pay about $500 a day in fees to the RIAA. Just to expose you to new music that you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. Just to help you buy more records.
And that's retroactive for 2006, too!

If you have a couple minutes, would you please navigate your way to SaveNetRadio.org and sign the petition they've set up over there? It can't hurt, and it can only help.

I signed the petition and had it sent off to my Senators and Congressman. I got an anemic response from one; awaiting responses from the other two.

From Senator Feistein's response:
The new rate that was established is less than a 5 percent increase of the rate in effect from 1998-2005.
Sure, but then it jumps up to 44.35% (Docket No. 2005-1 CRB DTRA, p.4, para. 2)!
I am a strong believer in intellectual property rights and believe that artists and performers have earned the right to be fairly compensated for the broadcast of their works by webcasters who benefit - financially and otherwise - from their talents. Without fair compensation, these artists would not create their works.
Does she honestly believe that artists and performers will see any of this money? And "webcasters who benefit--financially and otherwise"? I wonder just how many webcasters are profiting such that they must pay more than radio broadcasters who are nothing but profit-driven? And those who benefit "otherwise"? Hmmm, if I were to start a music webcast, it would primarily be to share music that I love; the benefit being that those listening might like what I'm sharing, would be turned on to new music, and maybe seek out more of that music for themselves. So cheerleading for the artists is something I would have to pay for?

I wonder just who these Copyright Royalty Judges are. Considering the appointments nominated and made during this administration, it's not too far a leap for me to wonder about their past and present affiliations.


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Blogger janette said...

I wrote to my Congressman Van Hollen of Maryland's 8th District.

After a generic response I never heard anything after that.

12:44 PM  
Blogger E'l Roy said...

Thanks, janette, for the comment, and for writing to your Congressman. I haven't even received a response from my Congressman. And as you read, one of my Senators sent back what I felt was a poor response. I recently heard back from my other Senator, the kick-ass Barbara Boxer, and got a slightly better response.

9:04 AM  

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