On March 2nd, the Copyright Royalty Board (part of the U.S. Library of Congress), released the new royalty rates that Internet Radio broadcasters have to pay, retroactive from 2006-2010. The new rates are so high that, for the most part, they exceed 100% of the revenue of most online radio stations.
What this means is Internet Radio as we know it is threatened big time. I can’t count the number of songs and artists I’ve been exposed to because of online radio. Great sites like Radio Paradise, Pandora, KCRW’s streams of Morning Becomes Eclectic, and Live 365 have been invaluable to me. To even consider life in this day and age without them is something I don’t even want to think about. It can’t happen!
The best defense against this is speaking out. You can help by going to Save the Streams.org, signing an online petition, and submitting an email or printed letter to your congressman. They have pre-written letters there for your convenience.
Please , if you’re a music lover, and you agree that these sites have a right to fair royalty rates, help out and speak out.
Resources and reading:
Time Running out for MP3 Blogs? There have also been recent mumblings about the RIAA going after music bloggers by approaching their Internet Service Providers and having their accounts suspended or their sites taken down. Is this the beginning of the end? See what Jefito has to say about it. And check out Gizmodo’s Boycott the RIAA Month.