Streaming internet radio is in trouble. The basic premise is as follows:
On Friday March 2nd, the U.S. government (specifically, the Copyright Royalty Board, or "CRB") announced its determination of the royalty rates Internet radio webcasters must pay the owners of sound recording copyrights to license the music they play for the years 2006-2010. The owners of these sound recording copyrights are, in the vast majority of cases, recording companies ("labels").
While successful webcasters which have built loyal audiences can usually cover most of their costs from their revenue (and sometimes even make a little profit), these new rates will almost certainly destroy the Internet radio industry, as they amount to well over 100% of even the most-successful webcasters' online radio revenues. In other words, these fees are grotesquely disproportionate to any other expense a webcaster would normally face, and certain to bankrupt him or her.
There are more details outlined in the link from above. Basically, this could effectively put the majority of online streaming radio channels out of business, including my personal favorite: DI.fm which has gotten me through many a long day during my past 6 years of being a paid subscriber and tuning in on an almost daily basis. Ari Shohat (Founder and Manager of DI) has a good sound off over on his blog. Please read it.
If you want to do your part to help save internet streaming radio from this all out rape pillage and plunder attack from the RIAA, head over to this link on Congress.org and drop your congress-person a line (there's even a pre-canned response that you can cut and paste in to the message). If you are located outside of the US (and are thus out of the reach of our congress), check out this post for more that you can do to help the cause.
To use a phrase that my 4 year old brother loves to shout...this isn't fair. The reasoning behind this is flat out ridiculous, and is nothing more than a thinly veiled guise to put online streaming stations out of business. I do think it's interesting that no matter what line of zealotry people choose to fall into, we can all agree on one thing: The RIAA is nothing more than a greedy bunch of bastards who don't give a shit about the art behind music, or the fact that the sole reason music should exist is to be heard. To be enjoyed. Shooting the messengers (as it were) is nothing more than a desperate ditch effort to flex what little perceived muscles the RIAA thinks it still has. When are these people going to understand that they aren't going to win? It really takes a lot to get me riled up, but this has definitely done it. Music is my passion, something I cherish. To see it treated like such an object makes me nauseous.
Fri, Mar 16 2007 12:06 AM