Protect internet radio

I am a huge fan of internet radio, as I have tuned out Clear Channel crap years ago. When I go home, I occasionally check out Chuck Chillout, Red Alert, Kid Kapri or another notable DJ set on the local NYC station. Otherwise, I'm checking out my own netcasts ;) The vast majority of mix-tapes (CD's) are gone. My beloved Beat Street shutdown last year, so Fat Beats and Rock and Soul are the few vinyl hold overs that still carry underground shyt.

Anyway, these days I spend time listening to
We Funk Radio (WKUT) Montreal, Underground Radio (WBAI) NYC, SomaFM(Groove Salad-San Francisco), BigUp Radio(Oakland) and Last.fm(UK).

It seems that RIAA and others have decided to increase the tax levy on internet radio. The argument is that internet radio does not provide the expected revenue stream per the content it delivers to the community. The issue was addressed by the founder of Pandora project, Tim Westergren.

You can read about his plea . It appears that internet radio spots that are housed in the U.S are the most vulnerable to this legislation. I have already written my representative. If you enjoy enjoy internet radio, I strongly encourage you to do the same.

Below is the response I received from my senator:

Thank you . . .

. . for contacting me about the copyright royalties that Internet radio stations must pay in order to broadcast music online. I understand your concern that a recent court ruling to raise these royalty fees will force many Internet radio stations to shut down.

On March 2, a panel of copyright judges changed how the amount of these fees is calculated. Previously, small broadcasters could pay royalties as a percentage-usually about 12 percent-of the money they collected. The new calculation requires all online music broadcasters to pay royalties on a per-listener, per-hour basis and increases royalty rates.

A coalition of online broadcasters is currently in the process of appealing this ruling. I will monitor the situation as this appeal moves forward. Should legislation come before me in the Senate, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to do so again if I can be of assistance to you in the future.

Sincerely,

Debbie Stabenow

United States Senator

So activism does work.. Not clear whether it will make a difference the bill is being debated on the floor of the Congress as I write this entry. The decision will be made May 15th July 15th, so let your voice be heard now.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on May 9, 2007 6:01 AM.

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