Radio Silence

June 25, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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I’ve mentioned the impending danger facing internet radio before. This Tuesday June 26th in a coordinated effort to help bring attention to the upcoming hearing on a royalty rate hike that will if implemented essentially shut down internet radio, internet broadcasters are observing a day of silence. Read Bruce’s very knowledgeable take on the situation here

Please Be Sure to sign the petition supporting the “Internet Radio Equality Act of 2007” here

Important PSA : Internet radio

April 25, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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It’s not often that use this space to editorialize on an issue, but this is pretty important. I honestly don’t listen to a tremendous amount of internet radio myself but that doesn’t make this issue any less relevant. If you lament the current extremely sad state of commercial FM radio these days you need to take an interest here. If this ruling stands as it is, internet radio will become just another outlet for the same commercialized repetitive low quality programming that dominates the FM airwaves. Why?, you say. Because they will be the only ones who can afford to bring it to you. Small independent and non-profit streaming web radio sites will no longer be able to afford to continue. Take action now.

I am reposting this letter from Roger LaMay ,General Manager of WXPN as it stresses the importance of the Copyright Royalty Board’s recent ruling on this issue.


Copyright Royalty Board Update
Recently, the U.S Copyright Royalty Board issued a ruling that dramatically increases the royalties paid to rights holders for streaming music on the Internet. While public broadcasters have been paying negotiated royalties to music publishers/songwriters for some time, this marks the first time, due to increased activity and new technology that we have been asked to pay the “performers” royalties. The board ruling set new rates that are 250% above copyright royalties. Even more ominous is that these royalties by themselves greatly exceed the revenues that the handful of public stations like XPN who are committed to music streaming generate or expect to generate in the near future. These services all are committed to playing artists who do not otherwise get airplay on commercial radio.
Section 118 of the Copyright Act of 1976 specified “a fair return to copyright owners without unfairly burdening public broadcasters.” Clearly this is not the case here. Therefore, Congress will introduce a bill this week addressing both noncommercial and commercial streaming services, the “Internet Radio Equality Act”. This legislation recognizes public radio’s public service mission and will put these royalties under the same system and standards as the royalties we currently pay to the publishers/songwriters. We believe artists should be fairly compensated but under a system that allows the continuing operation and development of the Internet streaming of music that does not get exposure in commercial broadcasting.
Please contact your congressional representatives in the next week and ask them to co-sponsor and support the Internet Radio Equality Act. The future of non-commercial Internet music streaming depends on getting relief from this onerous new burden. We are pursuing this acknowledgement of the special role of public broadcasting in negotiations, through legislation and in the courts.

Thank you and stay tuned.
Roger LaMay, General Manager WXPN