Say Goodbye to Internet Radio
Have you been enjoying some of the thousands of radio stations available on the Internet? Well, listen while you can. Their days are numbered.
The Copyright Royalty Board has increased — drastically, brutally increased — the royalty fees that Internet radio stations will have to pay. The Board’s decision was the result of intense arm-twisting by those anal retentive douchebags at the Recording Industry Association of America.
The entire royalty structure has been changed. In addition to the fee itself going way up, radio stations will have to pay this fee per performance (each song played), and this fee will be multiplied by the estimated number of listeners. If a station averages 500 listeners, this station will be paying more than $50 for every song played (the performance fee of eleven cents multiplied by 500). And this fee is going to keep going up and up and up every year.
How many of these hole-in-the-wall operations can afford this? It’s been fun.
What happened to that vast unlimited frontier that the Internet was supposed to be? When the FCC was allowing radio stations to merge and merge and merge, part of their argument was that the Internet provided so many choices. It didn’t matter if every broadcast radio station was owned by the same company and kept playing the same four songs day in and day out. You have Satellite Radio; you’ve got the Internet; you have millions of choices out there.
Now the two main satellite radio companies, XM and Sirius, are about to merge. And Viacom has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube. Conservatives are always blubbering about “too many lawsuits,” “too much litigation,” “too many lawyers.” But when a multi-billion dollar corporation sues a smaller rival, these same conservatives just clam right up and slither into the woodwork. (If only they'd stay there.)
Just like print media and our "public" airwaves, the Internet is turning into the personal fiefdom of a few corporate leeches.
UPDATE: Please sign these two online petitions, here and here, to save Internet Radio.