I sort of ripped this off from myself … twice … but I’d like to interrupt this blog to let you know that I stand with the many internet radio stations that will observe a national Day of Silence today. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15, 2007 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006 – what the heck is up with THAT?? How about a law retroactive to the pre-cambrian era that forbids the RIAA/MPAA from hiring lawyers?). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. Internet radio stations currently pay a fee based on revenues, something that works very well for an industry that is just getting started.
The internet has been built upon the philosophy of free exchange of information. While actions like this, current suits against YouTube and attacks on net neutrality are billed as protecting the rights of copyright holders and media producers, they also have the effect of making it fantastically more difficult to share creative commons content by attacking the networks and web services over which it is shared. YouTube is an easy target as everyone knows it’s just a haven for other people’s copyrighted content … except that it isn’t. Not always. There’s more and more original content on these services every day and I have to believe that this poses a threat to established media companies *cough* ClearChannel *cough*.
Anyway, please take a moment to contact your representatives and tell them that you support the Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House and Senate to save the Internet radio industry.
Much more information at the SaveNetRadio Coalition web site.