Tuesday, June 26, 2007

National Day of Silence for Net Radio

Save it, kids! New royalty rates for internet radio are set to go into effect on July 15, which will put many small webcasters out of bidness. Broadcasters have declared today a National Day of Silence, and will be observing it at various times during the day today. Save Net Radio has organized the effort; here's more from their press release:

The regularly scheduled programming of millions of Internet radio listeners will be temporarily interrupted tomorrow when tens of thousands of U.S. webcasters observe a national Day of Silence. Protesting the recent 300 percent royalty rate increase for online music webcasters, the aim of the industry wide daylong blackout is to raise awareness of the threat these new rates pose to the future of Internet radio and rally support for legislation pending in Congress.

"Webcasters of every size and from every corner of the country will stand united tomorrow to protest a very real and fast approaching threat to their livelihood,” said Jake Ward, a spokesperson for the SaveNetRadio Coalition. “With nearly a half million emails and phone calls from webcasters, listeners, and the artists they support sent to Congress in just the last two months, this national grassroots campaign has certainly captured the attention of lawmakers, but there is more to be done and time is running out....

Internet-only webcasters and broadcasters that simulcast online will alert their listeners that "silence" is what Internet radio may be reduced to after July 15th, the day on which 17 months' worth of retroactive royalty payments—at new, exceedingly high rates—are due to the SoundExchange collection organization, following a recent Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision.

Grump! How many ways are there for big companies to steal entire markets from little ones? Write your congressperson and let em know how you feel. Today's the day to do it!

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