Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Day Without Internet Radio

A number of internet radio stations are going dark today as a "preview" of what might happen if the Copyright Royalty Board's ruling on royalty rates is allowed to stand. This email from FreePress explains:

    In March, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rushed through a decision at the urging of music industry lobbyists. Their ruling -- which increases fees by up to 1,200 percent for online radio stations that stream songs -- will go into effect on July 15 unless Congress acts.

    If implemented, the CRB's draconian rule will shut down many noncommercial and independent Internet radio outlets, leaving the Web with the same cookie-cutter music formats that have destroyed commercial broadcast radio.

    The bipartisan "Internet Radio Equality Act of 2007" would reverse the CRB decision in favor of a balanced structure that supports artists without putting webcasters out of business.
OMW has a rundown of what is happening with some local webcasters. Kent's Folk Alley has been working the royalty issue on their website. They don't go dark today, but if you listen, they are heavy with PSA's asking people to contact representatives and lobby in favor of the proposed legislation.