My deepest thanks to everyone who has been so supportive these past few weeks as we’ve confronted the stunning development with the internet radio royalty rates. It has been very heartening for all of
us to experience such a groundswell of support from our listeners.
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Today, in coordination with a fast growing consortium of webcasters big and small, commercial and non-commercial, we are launching a campaign to reverse this pending disaster.
I hope you’ll join us. To add your voice to this movement, please take a minute to sign the PETITION urging your representatives in congress to act at the new website Savenetradio.org.
And please share this petition link with friends: http://capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/issues/alert/?alertid=9631541
Our first goal is to demonstrate the magnitude of the injustice being committed here through the sheer volume of people it affects. We plan to rapidly follow this effort with the introduction of a bill in congress to protect ourselves once and for all from these predatory maneuvers.
The last couple weeks have made it quite clear to us that it’s going to take nothing short of a major public outcry to reverse the results of this concerted campaign by the RIAA to shutter internet radio.
As awareness of this ruling and its consequences are spreading through the musicians’ community, we are being joined daily by hundreds of artists and their organizations for whom internet radio has become such a promising new outlet.
Thanks again for your wonderful and on-going support. I hope you will become an
active part of this effort.
Best regards,
Tim (Founder)

Comments

  1. Jeff
    April 20, 2007 at 10:12am
    Based on this response from Senator Feinstein I feel as though somebody is misleading us on this issue, I just don't know who. Either the impact of the decision is to raise webcaster rates by 5% as stated below or it's to raise them several 100% as the webcasters claim. ----- Original Message ---- From: "senator@feinstein.senate.gov" Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 7:39:00 AM Subject: U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message Thank you for writing to me with your concerns about the Copyright Royalty Board's recent decision on the statutory rate for music webcasting. I understand your concerns and appreciate the opportunity to respond. Under the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004, Congress - at the behest of webcasters - created the Copyright Royalty Board which consists of three judges. By law, the judges are a venue of last resort and are required to periodically set rates for various statutory copyright licenses in the event that webcasters and copyright owners are unable to reach voluntary agreements. In the absence of an agreement, the judges set a rate designed to approximate the fair-market value that webcasters should pay to artists and performers for streaming their music for the years 2006-2010. The new rate that was established is less than a 5 percent increase of the rate in effect from 1998-2005. Although a few webcasters have recently claimed that the process was unfair, it was not arbitrary and allowed representatives from all sides to make their cases. The judges began the proceedings in 2005, and heard testimony from dozens of witnesses and conducted a comprehensive review of tens of thousands of pages of evidence submitted by all interested parties over an 18-month period. While some webcasters may choose to pay this rate, independent negotiations between the parties are still possible and this new statutory rate would serve as the ceiling. Additionally, if it appears that the new rate will reduce the overall amount of webcasting - as well as the overall income from this stream of revenue - the copyright owners may still have an incentive to offer webcasters a rate less than the statutory rate. I am a strong believer in intellectual property rights and believe that artists and performers have earned the right to be fairly compensated for the broadcast of their works by webcasters who benefit - financially and otherwise - from their talents. Without fair compensation, these artists would not create their works. Once again, thank you for writing. Should legislation addressing this new rate or the rate-setting process come before the Senate, I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind. In the meantime, if you should have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, DC staff at (202) 224-3841. Sincerely yours, Dianne Feinstein United States Senator
    Reply
  2. N in Seattle
    April 20, 2007 at 10:42am
    I signed the petition and sent email messages to my Senators and Representative. My wonderful Congressman, Jim McDermott (WA-07), has already gotten back to me, as follows: ************************************ Dear [N in Seattle]: Thank you for writing me about the recent Copyright Royalty Board's decision to raise music royalty rates. I believe these increases will be a significant burden on Internet based music sources and that the retroactive nature of this decision could be seen as excessive. Consumers and artists benefit from Internet radio which offers diverse musical material by artists who do not receive commercial radio airplay. Unfortunately, these new royalty rates are so high that most small Internet radio stations and noncommercial webcasters do not have the resources to pay them and thus will be forced out of business. At the same time, artists and copyright holders will receive neither exposure nor royalties from these failing stations. In the past, I have supported legislation that required the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel to establish fair rates and terms, and I will continue to support solutions that help Internet radio stations stay on the air. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue, and hope you will continue to share your views with me. Sincerely, Jim McDermott ************************************ Nothing returned yet by Senators Murray and Cantwell. I'm particularly interested in what Maria Cantwell (a former Real Networks executive) might say.
    Reply
  3. ScottD
    April 20, 2007 at 7:37pm
    I discovered Pandora a couple of months ago. Not only has Pandora opened an incredible depth of music enjoyment, it has directly led me to buy more CD's in the last month than I had in the last 10 years! Pandora is a huge leap forward and will generate more revenue for artists - I have no doubt - my newfound spending is a proof point. Concerned about the monopolistic short-sighted CRB decision, I wrote my Congressman, David Price (Raleigh/Reserach Triangle Park, NC). Not only is webcasting in danger but these mega-media lobbyists are hurting the future of music discovery, and are killing the innovation it brings - especially Pandora. Congressman Price replied with an appreciation of the issues and is taking action: **************************** Dear <> Thank you for contacting me regarding the imposition of new royalty rates on Internet broadcasters by the Library of Congress's Copyright Royalty Board (CRB). I recognize the growing importance of webcasting as a broadcast medium for the digital age, and I share your concern about the CRB's proposed rate structure, which could severely limit webcasters' ability to operate and put many out of business. Federal copyright laws have always reflected an attempt to balance the rights of users against the rights of performers and copyright owners, and generally speaking, Congress and the CRB have recognized that Internet media must be treated differently than conventional audio and video. In this case, however, the new CRB rate structure - which would be based on the overall number of listeners and songs played rather than a share of webcasters' advertising revenue - appears to have tilted the balance too far in the direction of copyright owners. As you may know, on April 16 the CRB denied the motions for rehearing filed by National Public Radio and other online broadcasters, effectively affirming its original proposal. Without further action, the new rate structure will take effect on May 15, 2007, and will be retroactive to January 1, 2006. In response to CRB's decision, I have written the Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, to express my serious concerns about the new rate structure and to urge CRB to postpone its implementation pending further review of the matter. A copy of my letter is attached. It also may interest you to know that several members of Congress are currently drafting legislation that would revoke the new royalty rates and require CRB to develop a more reasonable rate structure that would be less detrimental to webcasters. I am in touch with these members and plan to cosponsor their proposal should a legislative fix prove necessary. Again, thank you for contacting me. Please continue to keep in touch on issues of concern. Sincerely, DAVID PRICE Member of Congress
    Reply
  4. Tim Westergren
    April 20, 2007 at 9:03pm
    Thanks for the continued flow of comments, suggestions and critiques. We're reading everything you say. Pandora is not legal outside the US. It's something that drives us crazy as we'd love nothing better than to launch there. We're working hard on the licensing. This has certainly put a serious damper on those efforts. Don't be discouraged by the opaque or negative replies from the senators/reps. In the end, the power of a groundswell of constituent support will outweigh other ties. This is all about raising awareness, then making sure they do the right thing when our bill is introduced. We're getting ready to go to DC! Tim (Founder)
    Reply
  5. S Cohen
    April 22, 2007 at 7:49am
    I signed, got all my friends and family to sign....... thanks for your hard work Tim....... keep up posted on the developments
    Reply
  6. Shane
    April 23, 2007 at 10:40am
    I recived this from Boxer's office: ********************************* Dear Friend: Thank you for your e-mail message and for your interest in public policy. In order to better serve the 36 million residents of California, I am now using an e-mail system located on my Senate website. This system enables me to provide more and better responses to you and other constituents while saving taxpayer dollars. (Unfortunately, limited resources do not allow me to respond to e-mails generated by third-party organizations.) If you would like a reply to your message, I encourage you to visit my website e-mail system at http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/email/policy.cfm Simply fill in the fields, type in your message, and click �Submit� at the bottom of the page. Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will keep in touch. Sincerely, Barbara Boxer United States Senator ************************ I then pasted the letter into there email system, urge everyone to do the same. Shane
    Reply
  7. T Fisher
    April 23, 2007 at 11:25am
    This has to be one of the best non-answers yet from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: ________________________________________________ Thank you for contacting me regarding copyright protection. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue. Copyright protection has been central to America's prosperity and job creation. Movies, books, computer software, television, photography and music are among our unique American products and some of our most successful exports. United States industries depending on copyright protection employ nearly 4 million workers and produce over $65 billion of our exports ( more than agriculture and automobile manufacturing. Protecting content in a high-technology age is a new and daunting problem, and copyright protection is an important challenge as the broadband revolution offers even more far-reaching possibilities and opportunities. With new speed and interactivity, the entire store of movies, music, books, television and raw knowledge can be made widely available. I believe copyright protection is a foundation of innovation, and copyright law should work to ultimately protect the best interests of consumers. Intellectual property is the creative core of the information age, and I agree this is a pivotal issue for Congress to address. I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you. Sincerely, Kay Bailey Hutchison ________________________________________________ All I have to say is to keep up the fight, there are a lot of people behind you!! Many of my friends have signed the petition.
    Reply
  8. Rusty Hodge
    April 23, 2007 at 2:09pm
    The 5% increase is just wrong. Do the math. 2005: 0.0007 per track per listener 2006: 0.0008 per track per listener 2007 0.0011 2008 0.0014 2009 0.0018 2010 0.0019 Soo from 2005-2006, the increase is 14% From 2006-2007: the increase is 38% From 2007-2008: the increase is 27% From 2008 -2009: the increase is 29% And from 2009-2010: the increase is 6% By 2010, the rates will have increased 271% from the rates in 2005.
    Reply
  9. Ted Young
    April 23, 2007 at 2:26pm
    I also received the same form letter from Senator Feinstein and now I'm also confused as to what the old rates were vs. what the new rates are. Can someone point to the specifics of the rate changes? It's hard to argue without all the facts. ;ted
    Reply
  10. Kevin Seal
    April 23, 2007 at 3:26pm
    Hey, Ted, Check out Rusty's numbers above, and his great post from this morning at the Soma.fm site: http://somafm.com/blogs/rusty/2007/04/senator-dianne-feinstein-has-wrong.html
    Reply

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