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Internet Radio Will Go Silent on June 26th

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the up-against-the-wall dept.

The Internet 250

Spamicles writes "Thousands of U.S. webcasters plan to turn off the music and go silent this Tuesday, June 26th, to draw attention to an impending royalty rate increase that, if implemented, would lead to the virtual shutdown of this country's Internet radio industry. In March, the Copyright Royalty Board announced that it would raise royalties for Internet broadcasters, moving them from a per-song rate to a per-listener rate. The increase would be made retroactive to the beginning of 2006 and would double over the next five years. Internet radio sites would be charged per performance of a song. A "performance" is defined as the streaming of one song to one listener; thus a station that has an average audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 "performances" for each song it plays."

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250 comments

Solidarity! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622121)

I'm not even in the music industry, but I'll be shutting down my web site (w/a notice explaining why & a link if someone has one) on that day to bring awareness to this issue.

Re:Solidarity! (4, Insightful)

going_the_2Rpi_way (818355) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622207)

This is an interesting notion. Voluntarily shutting down blogs, podcast sites and others can maybe help bring some attention to the general public about how seriously worried content creators are about this.

Re:Solidarity! (2, Interesting)

ChicagoBiker (702744) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622581)

Why let the corporations win? This is what they want. Internet silence? Why not march on Washington and demand that the people who represent us look out for OUR interests instead of the companies who run terrestrial radio stations?

Re:Solidarity! (2, Interesting)

Brad Eleven (165911) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623293)

It's for one day, to draw attention and/or cause action. We Americans do tend to respond most forcefully to any of our conveniences being interrupted.

I think it'd be more effective to do follow Madonna's example from a few years back. Instead of going silent, they could spoken word broadcasts to summarize the problem and outline actions that citizens could take.

In fact, I'd like to see news organizations do the same. Of course, I'd also like to see pigs fly. Independent operators are looking at the destruction of their businesses; newscasters worry about their jobs.

Re:Solidarity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622939)

I bet no-one will even notice.

And in other news (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622139)

.... five users wonder what happened to their favorite web site.

Re:And in other news (1)

supremebob (574732) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622233)

I thought that as well, until I saw the list of participants on savenetradio.org. They have some big names like Yahoo Music, Pandora, and Rhapsody on there, so a lot of people are going to notice this IF they don't decide to change their minds at the last minute.

Re:And in other news (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622481)

.... five users wonder what happened to their favorite web site.

I'm sure those that listen to Internet radio will know ahead of time and are outraged by this decision. The rest of those that surf the Internet, those that make the laws, and just about everyone else (minus those that will see a financial gain from this ruling) don't know or care to know about what will happen to Internet radio.

And unfortunately it's not +1 Funny either.

Re:And in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622703)

You're right, it's not +1, Funny.

....It's +3, Funny.

Ob (5, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622147)

Thousands of U.S. webcasters plan to turn off the music and go silent this Tuesday, June 26th
Coming up after the break, John Cage's estate launches biggest copyright infringement suit ever.

What can I do? (1)

LameAssTheMity (998266) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622169)

But what can the average person do to help stop this onslaught?

I've already contacted my local representatives in the last campaign, should I do it again?

Re:What can I do? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622509)

And again ... and again ... and again. Sometimes it takes a few repeated hammerings for important stuff to penetrate their skulls.

Re:What can I do? (2, Interesting)

dammy (131759) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622605)

Stop buying new CDs or MP3s is the first thing you can do. If you need it that badly, go buy it second hand or just listen to it on a FM or Digital radio station. Support your favorite artist by going to their concerts and buy their merchandise at those concerts. Music Industry has to go, it's up to all of us to starve it to death.

"Millions for defense, but not one penny for tribute,"
Robert Goodloe Harper (1818)

Go away, you're not 21 (0, Offtopic)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623019)

Support your favorite artist by going to their concerts
But will one's favorite artist still be one's favorite artist after one has become old enough to enter the venues that one's favorite artist's promoter has chosen?

Thank god... (0)

iGN97 (83927) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622183)

...for the second amendment.

Re:Thank god... (1)

the_greywolf (311406) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622923)

...for the second amendment.

... Now if we could just exercise it.

Re:Thank god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19623187)

The only freedom we have left is the freedom for idiots to make more laws. At leas we can still bitch, but who knows how much longer that will last. Someone somewhere will make some law...

What does this mean for... (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622187)

... internet radio stations that weren't running for profit, but simply for the enjoyment of broadcasting? How does soundexchange propose to get blood from a stone? Or would that be disallowed completely, even if the person wasn't broadcasting any music that they might have say over?

Re:What does this mean for... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622257)

Or would that be disallowed completely, even if the person wasn't broadcasting any music that they might have say over?

Exactly. Soundexchange gets paid even for non-member music. The law says that if you can't pay them, you don't play the music.

Now, there is one thing though, Soundexchange is required to allow artists and radio stations to contract directly and individually and is required to track all of these individual contracts so that they don't bill for those recordings. As creative commons grows, we might have a bit of a weapon to fight back with, if on our end we set up something more-or-less automatic for creating those contracts, it may turn out that we can swamp Soundexchange with them if they haven't already automated their end of the deal. If we can, and Soundexchange fails to keep up their end of the law, since they are "deputized" to operate the law, their failure might be prosecutable as malfeasance (if you can convince the Department of Justice to care about corporations), especially if it can be shown that at some step of the way they intentionally refused a contract or knowingly billed for a contracted performance.

Re:What does this mean for... (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622439)

... internet radio stations that weren't running for profit, but simply for the enjoyment of broadcasting?
Hippies and communists, the lot of them. Burn them I say! Burn the witch!

Seriously, they'll be silenced, so that you may return to your regularly scheduled monoculture of Britney Spears' current clone.

Re:What does this mean for... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622441)

They will be disallowed completely despite being not-for-profit, although there is some legislation pending to change this: "Internet Radio Equality Act", S-1353 in the US Senate, HR-2060 in the US House of Representatives. So, if you would like not-for-profit Internet radio to continue, please contact your friendly members of Congress.

I have no idea what the situation is for indie music. My (perhaps overly cynical) guess would be that they don't differentiate between the two.

except for Last.fm (3, Informative)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622191)

Pandora, Yahoo music and many others are participating except for CBS-owned Last.fm [techcrunch.com]

Re:except for Last.fm (4, Interesting)

GiMP (10923) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622331)

Last.fm is, at least historically, a UK company. Since their servers (and the music) is broadcast from the UK, I'm not sure this will affect them. The problem now, of course, is that they're now owned by CBS. Still, with Lastfm being a UK branch/division, they should be safe.

But of course, IANAL.

And as a paid subscriber to Pandora.com (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622539)

This will piss me off if I've got no music. I *paid* to listen to the music there. Will they cut me off?

I understand the protest, and I sympathize. But I'm not a "free" subscriber. I've paid them for a service. Will they deliver it?

Re:And as a paid subscriber to Pandora.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19623159)

And you'll be paying a lot more soon.

Re:except for non-US radio (2, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622571)

The problem with Government is that they forgot they were trying to legislate an international network.

Radio stations like EBM Radio [ebm-radio.de] are purely unaffected mostly by this ruling. Of course they don't play much MPAA music as it is (otherwise why would we listen to them?)

Maybe some enterprising foreigner will setup a internet radio proxy service overseas beyond the reach of the MPAA?

Re:except for non-US radio (1)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622695)

You have the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) mixed up with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

MPAA, RIAA, why it doesn't matter (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623055)

You have the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) mixed up with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
But does it matter? Sony is in both trade groups, and the other five MPAA members still release their movies' soundtracks on RIAA labels.

Re:except for Last.fm (2, Interesting)

Kindgott (165758) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622697)

I'm kind of glad on this point, only for the reason that I listen to last.fm at work and it makes my day that much more tolerable.

I guess I shouldn't even listen to them, though, for that day and just bring some CDs to work.

Meanwhile... (3, Interesting)

poptones (653660) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622193)

Magnatune and other *truly* indie publishers go on business as usual.

The RIAA doesn't need another 500 "internet stations." This might be the biggest non-event since the breakup of the Smiths.

They call it "internet radio" (2, Insightful)

dexomn (147950) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622201)

because, like the radio, it broadcasts a stream, users 'tune in' to the stream. The stream does not reposition for new connections that have 'tuned in' with the exception of an obligatory "THANKS FOR LISTENING TO THIS STATION" or whatever. There is no interactivity, the user can not choose where in the history of the stream to begin listening. This is a bunch of crap. =(

Here's a good link (4, Informative)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622235)

If you want to find your local congress critter, and ping them on the subject, Go here [capwiz.com] . This link takes you to a nice little cgi app that takes your zip code, and gives you the phone numbers for your house and senate rep's, along with a short script of talking points. If the Internet Radio Equality Act, (S. 1353 in the senate, and H.R. 2060 in the house) can get some sponsors, and get passed, we're all in much better shape.

Re:Here's a good link (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622953)

I actually emailed my congressman (Rick Boucher) back in late may about this issue. To my surprise, I actually received a response from him about a week ago about the matter. His response was that he was currently co-authoring H.R. 2060 in hopes of fixing this situation. At the very least, it gives me hope that we may be able to save internet radio.

Retroactive? (4, Interesting)

ricree (969643) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622267)

So, you know those prices we told you to pay last year? We were totally kidding about that, it definitely should have been higher then. So go ahead and fork over the rest of the money you owe us.


Seriously, though, how in the heck can a price increase be retroactive?

Re:Retroactive? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622363)

The original rates were set for a five year period. After the five year period was up, new rates still had not been determined, so the old ones were used in the interim. These are the new rates, which take effect beginning when the previous five year period ended. Basically everyone paying the old rates knew full well that they were going to go up and be "retroactive", it is not something that was just sprung on them.

There is a lot of bullshit and propaganda on both sides of this, don't take either side's word for anything.

Re:Retroactive? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622855)

The UCC seems to say that, in a situation where a third party is supposed to set a price but fails to do so, the price is set by law as being a "reasonable price at the time for delivery". A price which obligates a reseller to shut down is hardly reasonable.

UCC? Juris-my-diction (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623069)

The UCC
is a state law. Copyright is a federal law. I'm not sure to what extent the UCC applies to copyright transactions.

Re:Retroactive? (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622365)

My question is, what will happen to the small stations where their small audience would have generated fewer fees than they have paid for the per-song rate? Will they get refunds? Of course, these are in the minority, but still...

Without knowing the actual details of the rate changes, it is hard to say for certain.. but this sounds like it could actually be a good thing for the smaller broadcasters. Unfortunately, the fact it is retroactive is repulsive.

Re:Retroactive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622457)

Everyone will end up paying more. The biggest percentage increases will be for small radio-style broadcasters (who I believe were getting discounts on the old rate and will not get any on the new, higher rate) and sites like Live365 and Pandora with lots of individual streams, who will get nailed for $500 per year per stream in addition to the royalties for playing the songs. That is a fee that is supposed to exist solely for "administrative expenses." In the latter case, clearly the fee should be per-broadcaster, there is no legitimate reason that figuring out how much Pandora owes should cost millions of dollars a year.

Re:Retroactive? (5, Insightful)

ChicagoBiker (702744) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622619)

I don't think you're getting the point of this law. The corporations who support it don't run internet radio and they don't want it to continue. This is the easiest way for terrestrial radio companies to make "Internet Radio" illegal. If it's too expensive for your to create and run "myradio.com" then everyone will be forced back to 97.9 FM and they can continue their monopoly of the airwaves.

Re:Retroactive? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622407)

Because the rates are set by the government. And when the old rates ran out, everyone agreed to keep using them and to pay the new rates retroactively once they negotiated new ones. It took them a year and a half of arguing over the new rates to achieve a settlement, so the backlog built up quite a lot.

Since, per their own contracts, the Live365's of the world pay royalties on behalf of all the little guys that are their customers, and since Live365 (etc) didn't raise their billing rates, they're now in the hole for a lot of money.

Of course they cast it as evil corporations oppressing the little guy to gain support.

Re:Retroactive? (5, Informative)

idobi (820896) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622595)

I run idobi Radio. We're an alternative/rock station that's doing fairly well, in terms of popularity.

The rates set by the royalty board is incredibly high and completely unfair. I agree I'm bias on the issue, but if the current rates are upheld, we would be required to pay $900,000/year just in royalties.

The current rates, if applied to traditional radio, would require a station like KROQ in Los Angeles to pay $1.4 billion/year just in royalties. Last year, they mad $67 million in revenue. If one of the most successful traditional radio station cannot afford these royalties, how can any internet radio station that still developing a revenue base be able to?

http://www.idobi.com/news/?p=25408 [idobi.com]

Re:Retroactive? (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622421)

I've been wondering the same thing myself. How are they going to enforce those payments, exactly? The most they MIGHT be able to do is shut the radio station down, but that sure isn't the same thing.

RIAA Wins and Loses at the same time (2, Interesting)

kpoole55 (1102793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622301)

It seems that they got what they want in larger royalties but they're effectively shutting down the businesses that would pay those royalties. Exactly what do they think they've won here? I'm not an internet radio listener but the logic of forcing your revenue stream, however pitiful you think it might be, out of business doesn't seem to be right for anyone involved.

Re:RIAA Wins and Loses at the same time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622349)

Exactly what do they think they've won here?

Distribution Control.

Re:RIAA Wins and Loses at the same time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622513)

They're not after royalties, which are probably meaninglessly (for them) small either way. They _want_ the "but..." part of your statement: to shut down stations they do not control. Easiest way of accomplishing that was to jack up the prices to a point just about no one would be able to afford.

Not coincidentally, this affects stations playing indie artists that are not signed with the RIAA - unless the station has an explicit license from that artist, Sound Exchange still collects "royalties" "for" artists that will never see a cent of it.

Re:RIAA Wins and Loses at the same time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622625)

No need to put "royalties" and "for" in quotes, anyone can collect their money from Sound Exchange regardless of whether they are a member. The only restriction is a very modest minimum amount that can be collected, I believe somewhere in the neighborhood of ten bucks.

Which is not to say that the new rates are wholly fair (they are blatantly broken in some ways), but none the less, the concept of Sound Exchange (a central agency for collecting royalties from a wide variety of sources) serves a valuable purpose for independent artists (by collecting royalties that artists without the finances of a major label would otherwise have no hope of ever seeing).

Also the collection of the royalties is not necessarily limited to Sound Exchange, but only one other organization has come forward with a plan to do so. The panel deemed them (rightly from what I've been able to gather) a bunch of shysters and denied them the necessary permission to collect during this go-round. If a more reputable organization were to come forward I think you would see them allowed to compete with Sound Exchange. Nobody is chomping at the bit though because they are required by law to be a non-profit.

I wrote both my state sentators... (5, Informative)

LinDVD (986467) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622307)

You want a politician to respond to you? Snail mail is *still* the best way. Take ideas from a template if you must, but make most of the stuff, if not all of it up yourself. Be concise, but be sure and make your point. Bitching about a situation is obviously easier, but I got a reply back from Senator Boxer about a week ago (with the original letter sent in late May), which stated the following:


Thank you for writing to me regarding proposed changes to the assessment of royalty fees that Internet radio broadcasters pay to musicians and record labels. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

As you probably know, the federal Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has released its plan for charging online radio broadcasters for royalties. The Internet Radio Equality act of 2007 (S.1353), which was recently introduced in the Senate, would nullify the CRB's proposal and prevent the new royalties assessment plan from taking effect.

S.1353 is currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please be assured that I will take your comments under advisement, should this legislation come before the full Senate.

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please keep in touch with me about this and any other issue of concern to you.

Re:I wrote both my state sentators... (3, Informative)

sauge (930823) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622919)

Fax it - snail mail is held for weeks for terrorism checks. Fax the D.C. office and the local office(s).

Re:I wrote both my state sentators... (1)

Photonic Shadow (1119225) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622985)

If your from Texas then you can contact Senator John Cornyn http://cornyn.senate.gov/ [senate.gov] . Senator Cornyn serves on: Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on the Constitution Civil Rights and Property Rights
Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Citizenship

Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

do_kev (1086225) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622311)

The fact that this price increase is retroactive absolutely blows my mind, especially when you consider how large of a price increase this will be. Retroactive changes to the law is one of the hallmarks of a failed legal system. How many radio broadcasters will even have the kind of money that is now being demanded of them?

Supply and demand (2, Insightful)

EEDAm (808004) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622357)

Ok well here's talking yourself into the jaws of the lion on Slashdot and IANFRWW (I am no &*@!ing Right Wing Wan&#&!) but I struggle to see why this is inappropriate. The content of these stations is the music. The value of the station to advertisers is the number of people who are going to listen to it AND those stations use those stats to price their ads with the ad providers. Paying pay-per-track rather than pay-per-listener is clearly inequitable when the stations themselves earn money on a per listener basis. Hopefully they could create a carve-out for amateurish for-fun operations but let's not bleat for full blown commercial operations - there's no inequity here. /me puts on my flame-retardant helmet

Re:Supply and demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622389)

Retroactively charging stations tens of millions of dollars seems inappropriate to me. Especially when the price is so high that making a profitable business off your internet radio station is all but impossible.

Re:Supply and demand (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622401)

Paying pay-per-track rather than pay-per-listener is clearly inequitable when the stations themselves earn money on a per listener basis.
And what if they _DON'T_ earn money on a per listener basis? Trying to make exemptions for amateur operations wouldn't work because that would just create even more inequity.

Re:Supply and demand (5, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622507)

Yeah, but why does this apply to Internet radio and not broadcast radio? The principle you described is the model for broadcast radio, yet broadcast radio does not pay this way. This is about the record industry eliminating internet radio. The record industry controls what is played over broadcast radio, there are too many internet radio stations for them to get that kind of control over. The other problem is that the amount of the pay-per-listener fee exceeds what advertisers are willing to pay per listener.

Re:Supply and demand (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622631)

The other problem is that the amount of the pay-per-listener fee exceeds what advertisers are willing to pay per listener.
That's an interesting point I don't recall seeing brought up before. Do you have a reference?

Re:Supply and demand (1, Redundant)

karmatic (776420) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623089)

This is the crux of why everyone is so upset - it's impossible to grow to any significant size and be ad-supported under the new rates.

An example: [idobi.com]

KROQ, "the nation's top rock station", would owe $1.4 _billion_ in royalties in 2010, if they paid the new internet rates. Their annual revenue is around $67 million. They are a highly successful radio station, and don't have to pay the per-user bandwidth fees that internet stations do (economies of scale). See the problem?

Re:Supply and demand (1)

crazyjimmy (927974) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623301)

Simple math. With 19 cents per listener / song, you'd need for the listener (each and every one) to be clicking on enough ads to generate that revenue. Most ads run on Google's Adwords earn somewhere between 5 and 50 cents /click. Assuming it's the 50 cents, that means that each and every listener needs to click an ad every 3 songs. The current conversion rate of displayed images vs. clicks is a little under 1%. So in other words, to break even, you'd need to have that 1 person in one hundred clicking on 19$ worth of ads PER SONG. If you know the guy who likes to do that, let me know. Otherwise, NetRadio's kinda dead.

Re:Supply and demand (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623305)

"That's an interesting point I don't recall seeing brought up before. Do you have a reference?"

Hmmm now here's a thought.

Design a little market place...

OK, well a web site to go along with your net radio.

Let advertisers bid per listener to place their ads for the upcoming block.

You will need to know what it takes to pay all royalties and whatever expenses you want to cover and then set a minimum bid.

If the minimum bid is exceeded, take the payment from the winning bidder and run your normal show. If the bid is not enough to meet expenses, don't take the bid and run a show comprised of music for which no royalties are due.

Or take the payment with the understanding that you will run different content if the winning bid does not go above X.

You could also allow listeners to individually or in a pool, bid to run the next (any future) segment without commercials.

Let the market decide.

Just a zany thought.

all the best,

drew

Re:Supply and demand (1)

thePsychologist (1062886) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623015)

Well, Internet radio differs from broadcast radio in the same way that recording tapes from a CD differs from uploading to a P2P network: you can reach thousands more people, and you can get perfect copies of the broadcasts by stream ripping. Hence they use this excuse as a far greater potential revenue loss as compared to regular radio, which offers many less options in terms of distribution.

Re:Supply and demand (4, Interesting)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623309)

Internet radio differs from broadcast radio in the same way that recording tapes from a CD differs from uploading to a P2P network: you can reach thousands more people, and you can get perfect copies of the broadcasts by stream ripping. Hence they use this excuse as a far greater potential revenue loss as compared to regular radio, which offers many less options in terms of distribution.
Fair enough. But internet radio stations are simply asking to pay the same rates as satellite radio, which also offers a digital feed that can be captured by some consumer devices. (Granted, many of these devices are encumbered with DRM-ish "features.")

Re:Supply and demand (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622533)

The content of these stations is the music. The value of the station to advertisers is the number of people who are going to listen to it AND those stations use those stats to price their ads with the ad providers. Paying pay-per-track rather than pay-per-listener is clearly inequitable when the stations themselves earn money on a per listener basis.
The issue here is that internet radio stations want to pay what satellite radio pays. They were already paying double what satellite radio pays, and now they face astronomical increases that would bankrupt them.

Check out my earlier post [slashdot.org] for some useful websites.

I am not an internet radio broadcaster, just a listener.

Re:Supply and demand (1)

EEDAm (808004) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622535)

Well to deal with two points here; i) Retroactive / retrospective legislation is a complete no no of any principled system. In this case IAAFL and I detest the occasional breaches of principle we see here. Quite incredible for anyone to suggest it should not be so. ii) Re taking care of the little guys - we need to. There's a size test in so many aspects of online coverage that has to be put in place. Once the drones get up to speed, we'll get there.....

Re:Supply and demand (1)

galaxia26 (918378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622669)

The problem lies not in that it's a per listener charge, but that it's a per listener charge that's quite a bit more than the old charge, and retroactive.

Some of these stations are barely able to keep themselves afloat, let alone pay the ridiculous retroactive fees. The livelihoods of some people supporting broadcasters may very well be at stake.

The fact that big internet radio stations like Yahoo are going to go silent for the day only goes to show that this change isn't just bad for the little stations, but for the big stations as well.

Another piece of the puzzle comes from places that have advertisers that do pay per listener, but the problem there is that the stations are going to have to look for advertisers that pay MORE or increase the number of ads, and even some stations without advertisers that have kept afloat on donations or a larger corporate entity are going to have to find advertisers.

Born in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622395)

Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A. ...


(pun very much intended)

Some useful sites. USE THEM! (4, Informative)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622429)

This current plan to hike royalty rates would be apocalyptic for internet radio. Its retroactive effect alone (back to January 1, 2006) would bankrupt all but the huge players.

Here are some useful sites where you can find out what you can do. If nothing else, contact your congressional representatives and tell them to save internet radio by sponsoring the Internet Radio Equality Act.

http://www.savenetradio.org/ [savenetradio.org]
http://www.savenetradio.org/act_now/index.html [savenetradio.org]
http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/callalert /index.tt?alertid=9731806 [capwiz.com]

As far as Utah goes... (4, Informative)

Zorque (894011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622443)

I now know who cares and who doesn't. I got a letter back within about a week from Jim Matheson, our Representative, who seemed very adamant about how wrong this proposed legislation is. He even went on in detail about why he wanted internet radio to stay the way is is (or become free, even). Bob Bennett didn't respond. Orrin Hatch, who is himself a recording artist (in a loose usage of the term), seemed to be sidestepping the issue in the letter he sent back. It was almost as though he agreed with the rate hikes. How someone who gets paid to make music can support the RIAA is beyond me. Though I guess Roarin' Orrin's reply didn't really surprise me, I guess there are things in life you never get used to.

Re:As far as Utah goes... (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622961)

I got a letter back within about a week from Jim Matheson, our Representative, who seemed very adamant about how wrong this proposed legislation is. He even went on in detail about why he wanted internet radio to stay the way is is (or become free, even).

[Emphasis mine.]

You mean how wrong the planned rate hikes are, don't you? The proposed legislation would stop them.

Progression (1)

Kuvter (882697) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622465)

1. Video killed the radio star
2. Internet killed the video star
3. Royalties killed the internet star
4. ???
5. Profit

This is Just a Taste of What is to Come (5, Insightful)

Brad Zink (1119269) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622493)

This issue is emblematic of a much larger phenomenon that is only going to increase over time. That phenomenon is the increasing gap between modern society and what the bureaucracy perceives it to be. The government had enough trouble when change was slow. Now as the speed of change gets quicker by the week, the out-of-touch nature of government becomes not just an issue to laugh about, but one to be of great concern. Political ideology combined with an insularity from change will stifle those who are the best and the brightest at the expense of those that are the most powerful.

deja vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622557)

Didn't this all happen five years ago? Somafm went away for some royalty reason. Then a few years later everything was fine again. What's different this time around?

Re:deja vu (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622765)

Didn't this all happen five years ago? Somafm went away for some royalty reason. Then a few years later everything was fine again. What's different this time around?

You can read about what happened in 2002 on their website [somafm.com] . Basically, the record companies demanded $500 per day from SomaFM. SomaFM and its listeners responded by encouraging Congress to pass the Small Webcasters Amendment Act which reduced the royalty rates to a more manageable $2000 to $5000 per year.

What is different now is ... well, not much I suppose. It would seem that the recording industry is trying once again to kill internet radio [savenetradio.org] by influencing the Copyright Royalty Board to hike the royalty rates by astronomical amounts.

Obigatory Ogg Vorbis request (2, Funny)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622565)

They should really be using Ogg Vorbis, because it's VBR nature means it encodes silence just that much better than MP3 or AAC ;-)

but will anyone notice? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622569)

Thousands of U.S. webcasters plan to turn off the music and go silent this Tuesday, June 26th

It's June. The kids are out of school. The boat is in the water. The hamburgs are on the grill. There are a million better things to do than listen to the radio - any radio.

Re:but will anyone notice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19623125)

You, apparently, are NOT stuck in a lab all day, with tasks to accomplish, and your only 'perk' IS internet radio...

Re:but will anyone notice? (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623271)

I know this may come as a shock to you, but a great many people in this country do actually work during the summer.

Bills to pay and all that.

Some of those places even let their employees listen to internet radio stations while they work. There will be a lot of people who notice.

The Recourse Is Obvious... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622573)

Everyone switch over to pirate radio stations, they're hipper anyway! Now if only the FM spectrum went as low as 66.6 I'd be in. "You're listening to 66.6: The Beast!"

SHH to Canada... (5, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622585)

The US stations could set up SSH tunnels to servers in Canada - 'internet underground railroad radio stations'...

What this is really all about is... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622591)

....establishing a network of stations, for profit, extracted out of the many and various web broadcasters.

For the only way to deal with the irrationality of what is proposed is to do so with money and teamwork between the broadcaster. And that typically happens through business broadcast networks.

In other words, what many web broadcaster have accomplished in establishing web broadcasting audience is now going to be taken away from them as they go out of business or are merged and either shut down or become part of the network controlled and profited by much fewer, and likely broadcaster already long established in radio (including those which are multimedia - ie, newspaper, tv, print... In a few words: control over the audience, for profit and advertising.

Certainly you can expect deals with the RIAA to be struck by the broadcast networks that will consume the others out of this shakedown, that will pay a great deal less per song broadcast than is being put forth now.

Retroactivity over near a year and a half, is enough to knowlingly force non-profit out and even allow lawsuits against the non-profit in order to steal their registered audience lists.

Already you have radio stations (owned by networks) also broadcasting through the web, and they loose market share to any around the world who do web broadcasts and are not part of the corporation network overloads.

Now that its been said and you have read it, you know its true!

I'll do my share and not use my bandwidth to listen to any but independant stations on the web, if I listen at all.
For what music I listen to on the radio, its very limited to less than two hours week days for wake alarm and drive to/from work. And there are no local stations that play the sort of music I really like. But for sure, the radio I listen to, they can't count me, they can't see me, they can only guess, and I'd imagine that is unlike the internet.

Don't play their music (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622699)

*shrug*

Mayhap this is the boost Creative Commons licensed artists have been looking for.

Re:Don't play their music (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623385)

From what I can see, most CC using artists use NC unfortunately and so most stations will not benefit by playing them.

Now for By and BY-SA this may be an option.

all the best,

drew

Stop Playing RIAA Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19622709)

The Internet radio stations should just stop playing RIAA music then.

does this affect SIRI/XM streaming (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622827)

does this royalty regime apply to the streams from XM and Sirius?

Re:does this affect SIRI/XM streaming (5, Informative)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622891)

does this royalty regime apply to the streams from XM and Sirius?

The short answer is "no." In fact, internet radio stations would much rather have it the other way around: they want to pay what satellite radio pays. Right now, they're paying twice the satellite rate, and the new increases would push internet radio rates astronomically higher, retroactive to January 1, 2006.

In effect, the RIAA (through the Copyright Royalty Board) is trying to kill internet radio.

Maybe a way around? (2, Interesting)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622861)

So here's a thought...

You set up a SINGLE SERVER out of the country, say Sweden, Norway, Canada. You feed a SINGLE STREAM to that server. So you pay royalties on that single stream.

Now, that server just happens to mirror out to a few thousand listeners. But it's a different server, not you the Internet Radio Station. You're streaming just a single stream...

Potential here? I could see relocating a few big boxes and a few fat pipes out of the US just for such a purpose. Could be a lucrative little business. Kind of like Akamai for audio streams...

Server Location? (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 6 years ago | (#19622907)

If a DJ is based in America but the server that people tune into is based in the UK are they still liable? As the DJ is sending the RIAA music from America where it will matter to this law but its being Broadcast from the UK. If they aren't liable all i predict is a mass move of server locations to the UK. All that reduces is going to be US tax revenue on the server rental.

Re:Server Location? (1)

zaax (637433) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623011)

To what happens when BBC World broadcasts in the USA via local transmitters, or satellite? where is the dues paid to?

Here we go again.... (1)

DJDarknez (1066616) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623165)

I didn't RTFA, I already know the whole story as I'm a program director for an internet radio station. Turning off the music for a day makes about as much sense as not buying gas for a day.

Interesting about who has said things about this (4, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623171)

Now I'm going to say two words that will automatically get me modded down around here, but Rush Limbauqh had a segment about this on his show a few weeks ago when he was explaining why internet feeds contained minutes of silence during song parodies, etc. and about this new policy and how it was going to kill internet radio and wasn't fair. He explained that for his show, it could easily translate into $36,000 a day worth of royalities that would be hard for even a show with a large audience (and high ad rates) to cover.

I do listen to a lot of Online Radio, primarily KTRS 550, and KMOX out of my home town of St. louis at work. There are some afternoon shows I like to listen too and now since I live out both of their radio range (I can get KMOX sometimes at night, but now that the Cards games have moved...)

Still I listen to more podcasts of shows that aren't in my market like the Tony Kornheiser show and then some of the ESPN shows like PTI.

I had my own radio show on the college radio back in the day, and I remember we were charged by the song, not the number of listeners, but as a low power system, I'm not sure how all those rates are calculated anymore. If that is still the case, this just seems like a way to cut competition for terrestrial radio stations.

Solution... Don't play full song (1)

RancidMilk (872628) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623295)

We have learned from the RIAA, that if you share the first part of a song on a peer to peer network, with garbage on the end, it is legal. Therefore if we play most of a song, and make a low pitch noise at the end. Effectively cutting off the last half second of a song, we would not be making a full performance per person and the record industry gets jack squat.

proxy it (1)

crusher2k (875334) | more than 6 years ago | (#19623377)

have a proxy where everyone logs into and that proxy connects to the radio broadcast. One connection one charge. Problem solved.
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