The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently released a revised fee schedule for internet radio. Left unchanged, these rates will end internet radio, period. The RIAA has effectively convinced this federal committee to establish rates that make online radio a non-viable business.
It’s an utterly ridiculous ruling that renders any form of internet radio non-economic. We are continuing in the belief that sanity will return as everyone involved, including the 50 million avid online radio listeners, realize just how outrageous this is.
You can probably tell by this post that I feel strongly about this. Online radio has opened up a new world for musicians and listeners alike. It has brought millions of otherwise disconnected music-lovers back to music radio, and has opened up tremendous access and promotion for thousands of musicians – both obscure and well known.
We are striving very hard to build a business. We employ eleven full time people in our ad sales team, and despite very high licensing and streaming costs, believed that we could make it work over the next several years if internet advertising continues to grow. This ruling drives the licensing fees (fees that are NOT paid by terrestrial broadcasters) completely out of reach, and makes our goal impossible.
This is a terribly ill-conceived attempt to crush a powerful and positive grassroots movement that is sweeping across the music world. The record labels’ struggles have nothing to do with online radio and killing it will further hurt their business, not help it.
We need your help. If you’d like to get involved please write your congressperson. Below is a link to point you to the right person. If you can, please send a letter or a fax that asks for a reply (emails are too easily ignored).
Congressional Directory by Zip Code
If you want to learn more details, try this informative blog post from an attorney familiar with the process:
Now more than ever, thanks for your support.
Tim (Founder)

Comments

  1. Matt
    March 06, 2007 at 8:06am
    Has anyone come up with a letter that someone could use as a template for this issue? I'm finding it difficult to succinctly articulate the issue in a letter to my rep's in Congress.
  2. Mr. Gunn
    March 06, 2007 at 10:04am
    Move to Europe. The RIAA can't bankrupt you there. Make friends with Last.fm while you're over there.
  3. Peter B
    March 06, 2007 at 12:18pm
    There's a letter template over at: http://www.savenetradio.org/ (under the first bullet). Is Pandora affected by this??? Acording to the cited blog -- the new rules don't apply to "interactive" webcasters.
  4. Chris
    March 06, 2007 at 12:24pm
    This letter looks like a good example: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=1088793686
  5. D W
    March 06, 2007 at 2:38pm
    It's a good idea to send RIAA a couple of links to some good internet radios (including this one!) and show this actually helps the music business. Big time.
  6. David Kleiner
    March 06, 2007 at 2:47pm
    Is it possible to get EFF involved? With their help, the message may get louder and stronger.
  7. David McBride
    March 06, 2007 at 3:26pm
    This really ruined my day. Surely there is a way around this, such as moving your operation overseas.
  8. Tim Westergren
    March 06, 2007 at 5:54pm
    Thanks for the comments, folks. Re. Peter B.'s post, these affect ALL webcasters with an ad-supported service. They definitely affect us. Tim (Founder)
  9. Alex
    March 06, 2007 at 8:46pm
    If they weren't so blind, they'd actually realize that internet radio promoted artists. But I guess, all they see is green - such that they just overlook it all.
  10. Alex
    March 06, 2007 at 8:48pm
    http://www.petitiononline.com/SIR2007r/petition.html http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/alert/?alertid=9461656&content_dir=ua_congressorg&mailid=custom

Comments are closed.