I’m an avid listener of internet radio for many years now. It’s a way to hear new music, old music, and I’ve been inspired to purchase some cds by listening. Given that exposure to music can encourage people to ultimately purchase the music, its difficult to understand why the music industry essentially wants to tax internet radio out of existence.
Radio Paradise is my favorite station. I remember the night that George Bush stole the election the second time, Radio Paradise was playing political rock with revolutionary implications. They knew, as we knew, what was going down. Helped me to get through that difficult night.

Royalty rates are set to go in effect July 15th, retroactive to January 1st, 2006! SaveNetRadio.org is leading the charge, and explains that an  Internet Radio Equality Act was introduced by a bipartisan coalition in the Senate:

Wyden-Brownback “Internet Radio Equality Act” Introduced in the Senate
Bipartisan Bill Would Save Internet Radio

            WASHINGTON D.C. – Legislation introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) today would save Internet radio from a recent royalty hike that threatens to bankrupt the industry.  The Internet Radio Equality Act would vacate a Copyright
Royalty Board (CRB) decision to increase fees webcasters pay to play music online by a devastating 300 to 1200 percent.   Companion legislation (H.R. 2060) introduced in the House of Representatives on April 26th, by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-
IL), has already garnered the support of more than 60 cosponsors.

 SaveNetRadio.org, a national coalition of webcasters, recording artists, listeners and record labels applauded the bill’s introduction, expressing their gratitude to Senators Wyden and Brownback for their leadership at this critical time for the Internet radio industry and the millions of Americans who listen online every day.  “Since the CRB’s ruling, Internet radio listeners, webcasters and the artists they promote have joined together to urge Congress to prevent this vibrant industry from going silent on July 15th,” said Jake Ward, a spokesperson for the
SaveNetRadio campaign.  “On behalf of Internet radio’s 70 million monthly listeners, thousands of webcasters, and the incredible diversity of talented artists it supports, we commend Senators
Wyden and Brownback for their understanding of Internet radio’s importance and for their leadership in taking the steps needed to save it”

What’s needed, is phone calls to your senators to encourage them to possibly co-sponsor, and support this bill.

If Senate bill is not passed (companion legislation in the House is HR 2060), July 15th will be the day the music died!

July 15, when collection begins on the new royalty fees, literally will be the day the music died. Most Internet radio Webcasters will be driven out of business because of a massive retroactive royalty rate that is above total revenues for most in the business.  For large
Webcasters, the royalty increase could be between 40 percent and 70 percent of revenues.  For small Webcasters the royalty increase could reach up to 1,200 percent of revenues.

Currently, terrestrial radio stations only pay royalties to songwriters.  Internet radio and satellite radio pay royalties to both songwriters and record companies/recording artists.  However satellite radio only pays royalties of 7.5 percent of their revenue.  The Internet Radio Equality
Act of 2007 corrects the enormous disparity created by the CRB by putting Internet radio on par with satellite radio.  Additionally, the legislation would create special royalty rules for the Webcasting arms of non-commercial broadcasters like National Public Radio and college radio to ensure they are not left out of reaching new listeners on the Internet.

Anyone ever feel that a certain bit of music has saved your life? Right after Katrina, I discovered, through internet radio, Brian Eno’s “Another Day on Earth”. The lyrics, the music, helped me to keep moving and keep fighting. Let’s keep the music alive, and keep the people moving to the music.    

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