OT: Record companies move to kill internet radio

Four years ago, I rediscovered my love of all things musical, primarily due to one independent internet radio station. Perhaps many of you listen as I do, at your desk while working, at your computer while reading, surfing or Googling knitting, playing online games, replying to e-mail. It’s become such a major part of my life that I take it for granted. Regrettably, I can no longer assume that it’ll always be there.

The bureaucratic Copyright Royalties Board (CRB) has just imposed a rule that, if it stands, will force internet radio stations out of business. The CRB has determined that internet radio stations should pay royalties that in most cases will cost 125% or more of a station’s annual gross income. This is in addition to all their other expenses, including the royalties they currently pay. The decision on March 1 would impose impossible royalty payments on internet radio stations. These stations already pay the same royalties as FM stations (ASCAP, BMI), plus they pay an additional 10–12% of gross revenues to record companies now. Major FM Broadcasting corporations like Clear Channel do not pay one penny of this additional royalty. This is all a misguided effort by the record companies to stifle internet radio because they fear piracy. Just like they feared the move from AM to FM, they feared cassette recorders and they fear YOU. Even if you don’t listen to internet radio, you benefit from the diverse sounds available, as artists outside the mainstream are afforded the opportunity to tour and perform for you. Without internet radio, if an artist isn’t played on your ClearChannel commercial FM, it’s very hard to get the word out.

[b]In a nutshell, your local FM radio station that plays crrrrap isn’t affected. It’s the listener-supported independent internet radio stations that will be driven out of business, thereby ending the ability of the average listener (you and me) from hearing thousands of new musicians (and old musicians that we’ve never before heard.)

We’ve purchased more CDs in the past three years than either of us has previously. Until this decision is reversed or somehow abated, we will only buy direct from the musicians at live performances. The RIAA has publicly stated that webcasting has no promotional effect on record sales. :?? Please help by spreading the word or writing your public servant or by not buying any recorded music through ordinary channels this month.

If you want to know more:
Save Our Internet Radio

Radio & Internet Newsletter (RAIN)

Save Net Radio

Boycott RIAA

If you want to speak out:
Write your Congressman

Write your Senator

Thanks for listening. :slight_smile:

I can’t say what I think about the RIAA on this board. PG-13 rating and all.

What I have to say would most definitely be NC-17.

Well, it’s not a huge surprise, I guess. Everyone’s gotta protect their bottom line. Sorry I haven’t taken the time to read your links… sometimes I just avoid things that I know will upset me. I wouldn’t get too worried about the stations totally disappearing, though. I think listeners will be willing to support their favorite stations even if it means having to make larger donations and/or pay a modest fee. I also think that smaller labels (which are the ones you’re interested in, right?) will be less likely to charge hefty royalties because radio play probably increases their distribution, even if it does nothing for the big guys.

It will eventually fail just as every other attempt to destroy internet based businesses has failed. It will take some lawsuits and legislation, but eventually it will fail.

I truly hope that the RIAA eventually gets slapped with a massive lawsuit and criminal charges that expose them for the criminal thugs that they are. They’re nothing more than organized gangsters.

In a few more years, the RIAA will be obsolete.

These three guys…

…(all by themselves) rubber stamped Soundexchange’s request for exorbitant fees to be paid by webcasters. My favorite internet radio station sells no advertising and, therefore, has no commercials. They’ll have to pay over 100% of their revenue to stay in business.

It’s a fatal blow.