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The SaveNetRadio Coalition: The Day the Music die …

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 2, 2007

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!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date.  Internet radio needs your help! The Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House (H.R. 2060) and Senate (S. 1353) to save the Internet radio industry. Please call your senators and your representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act by clicking

 The SaveNetRadio coalition …    The SaveNetRadio coalition (header)

The SaveNetRadio coalition is made up of artists, labels, listeners, and webcasters. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring an event, making a donation, or would like to become a leader in the fight to save Internet radio. The recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board to increase webcasters’ royalty rates between 300 and 1200 percent over the next 5 years jeopardizes the industry and threatens to homogenize Internet radio.

Artists, listeners, and Webcasters, have joined our coalition to help save Internet radio. The coalition believes strongly in compensating artists, but Internet radio as we know it will not survive under the new royalties. We need your help. Please take a moment to call your members of Congress to let your representatives know how much Internet radio means to you. Together, we can force Congress to create a structural solution for this problem and create an environment where Internet radio, and the millions of artists it features, can continue to grow for generations to come.

About the Issue

On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio’s royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future.

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further.  The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed.  And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 – that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters’ royalties will grow exponentially!

Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop.  Without a doubt most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters’ demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio.  Surviving webcasters will need sweetheart licenses that major record labels will be only too happy to offer, so long as the webcaster permits the major label to control the programming and playlist.  Is that the Internet radio you care to hear?

As you know, the wonderful diversity of Internet radio is enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans and provides promotional and royalty opportunities to independent labels and artists that are not available to them on broadcast radio.  What you may not know is that in just the last year Internet radio listening jumped dramatically, from 45 million listeners per month to 72 million listeners each month.  Internet radio is already popular and it is already benefiting thousands of artists who are finding new fans online every day.

Action must be taken to stop this faulty ruling from destroying the future of Internet radio that so many millions of listeners depend on each day.  Instead of relying on lawyers filing appeals in the CRB and the courts, the SaveNetRadio Coalition has been formed to represent every webcaster, every Net Radio listener, and every artist who enjoys and benefits from this medium.  Please join our fight for the preservation of Internet radio.

(Source: http://www.savenetradio.org/about/index.html)

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