23 June 2007

A Silent Internet?

Imagine, if you will, an Internet on which the only sound is that of your fingers on the keys, and the popup ads telling you that you just won two free iPods.

That's what the Web will sound like on Tuesday (June 26) as many webcasters turn off to protest the recent royalty hikes announced by the Copyright Royalty Board. Jake Ward, a spokesperson for the SaveNetRadio Coalition, expressed the concerns of webcasters and listeners:

The arbitrary and drastic rate increases set by the Copyright Royalty
Board on March 2nd threaten the very livelihood of thousands of
webcasters and their millions of listeners throughout the country. The
campaign to save Internet radio - a genuine grassroots movement
comprised of hundreds of thousands of webcasters, artists and
independent labels, and Net radio listeners - has quickly brought this
issue to the national forefront and the halls of Congress, but there is
still more to be done before the approaching deadline of July 15th. On
Tuesday, thousands of webcasters will call on their millions of
listeners to join the fight to save Internet radio and contact their
Congressional representatives to ask for their support of the Internet
Radio Equality Act.

He mentions July 15, because that's the day the proposed rate increases take effect (retroactive to 2006!). And that's the day that many webcasters may go silent permanently in the face of fees that dwarf their income.

Among those webcasters who will go silent on Tuesday are:

Yahoo! Live365 stations, Rhapsody, MTV Online, AccuRadio, KCRW (Santa Monica, CA), Pandora, Radioio, DigitallyImported, RadioParadise, 3WK, myMVY, Wizard Radio, Born Again Radio, Pearadio.com, Ear.fm, WGLI (Bablylon, NY), WMUK (Kalamazoo, MI), Head-On Radio Network, Zecom/Gemz Radio, monkeygrip music cafe, KFCF (Fresno, CA), LuckySevenRadio.com, Blue Power/Guitar Speak, WPNA (Oak Park, IL), 60's Chicks Radio/Seasons & Celebrations Radio, STAR 107.9, WRPS/WebRadioPugetSound, Puregold Rock 'N Roll, NeverEndingWonder Radio, RadioMilwaukee, BAGeL Radio, Gotradio/100hitz, KDUN (Reedsport, OR), GDRadio.net, KQLZ (Los Angeles, CA), KXPR/KXJZ (Sacramento, CA), NiceNoise.Net, BlackLight Radio, Pure Pop 24/7, Smooth Jazz and More, Reggae Nostalgia, WCH Radio/The Wave, WYGS Southern Gospel Radio Network, BluegrassCountry.org/WAMU.org, WRAJ Internet Radio

No word on whether my own beloved KAOS-fm will stop their Web simulcast in observance of the day of silence.

Day of Silence PSA

If you're concerned about the potential loss of thousands of Internet radio streams, call the Copyright Royalty Board at (202) 707-7658 or email them. Also call/write Congress -- you can find your representatives here or here.

More info:
RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter

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