If you love Internet Radio, you need to read this right now. It’s in danger, and needs your help.
As you may be aware, in 2002, the Library of Congress (LOC), under a recommendation from the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP), required that Internet radio stations pay prohibitively high royalty rates for the music they stream to listeners. After a failed appeal made by both webcasters and copyright owners, and a series of unsuccessful negotiations between the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Internet radio stations, Congress created the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) under the Library of Congress to determine new royalty fees.
Under an agreement reached in 2002, internet radio stations are required to pay royalties which constitute about 6 to 12 percent of the stations’ revenues. However, this agreement has expired, and the CRB recently proposed raising the amount that commercial internet radio services pay to record companies by up to 30 percent.
Thirty percent is a big number to throw at thousands of small webcasters across the nation. And on top of that, even the big casters like Yahoo, Rhapsody, Live365.com and di.fm are being hit as they fall under the same classification as the little guy. This means that by mid-July, if this decision is not successfully nullified by House Resolution 2060 and Senate Resolution 1353, the landscape of Internet Radio will change dramatically. Small webcasters will have no choice but to go pirate and not pay a dime to the artists and risk being sued, or shut down outright. The CRB is effectively telling us that the price of democracy is currency, not choice.
If you love Internet Radio and want to help save it, you need to visit SaveNetRadio.org and use the information there to contact your Senators and Congressman and urge them to co-sponsor the bills in Congress that would reverse this horrible decision. If you’re already done so, then spread the word. If you’re a website owner, please grab a banner and put it up on your site today, to emphasize why June 26th was chosen as the National Day of Silence for participating Internet Radio stations, including my own Japan-A-Radio, Yahoo LaunchCast Radio, Rhapsody Radio, and 10,000 stations at Live365.com.
Help us get the message out today. Help us Save Internet Radio.