The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger! Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!).
This issue needs immediate support or the future of free radio is in jeopardy. According to Pandora founder Tim Westergren:
The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays and broadcast radio doesn’t pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.
At this point there are only a few weeks left to protect the future of Internet based radio stations. Even if you don’t listen to them currently you should be very, very concerned because these stations are how you’ll listen in the future – and that is exactly what the media giants are trying to prevent! Read on and I’ll explain…
The vast majority of us currently still listen to radio stations either while driving in the car or at home on a stereo, and these stations are broadcast via the airwaves. The giant media companies like this model very much because it imposes huge barriers to entry. In order to compete you’d have to set up a broadcast facility, get FCC licensing rights, etc.
In the future however, wireless companies will be rolling out massive WiMax networks which will essentially blanket the country with high speed wireless Internet access. Eventually even cell phones will be converted to run through the Net and your car will be internet connected.
When that day comes, you will no longer have to pay for satellite radio because you’ll have thousands of free Internet channels to listen to! I should say IF that day comes. You see, the RIAA and major media companies are ganging up to suppress Internet radio and the only way to ensure it’s future is to ACT NOW!
To protest these rates and encourage the millions of net radio listeners to take action and contact their Congressional representatives, today is a national Day of Silence – 10,000+ channels ceased broadcasting to raise awareness. You can see who all is participating, but more importantly you can lend support to the cause by sending a letter or calling your Congressperson.
For more information:
I’d like to remind everyone that this type of grass-roots movement does indeed work. We have already proven it with the net neutrality campaign, so let’s do it again with the Internet Radio campaign. This is democracy in action, and you’re in the driver’s seat!