Net radio prepares for day of protest

On June 26 of this year, thousands of US webcasters will go silent in a bid to draw attention to impending royalty rate increases that the industry believes will shutdown the country's internet radio. US copyright body the Copyright Royalty Board proposed in March to double the amount webcasters pay for every track they play. Many webcasters are planning to shut off access to their streams entirely, while others plan to replace the music with long periods of silence, static or "ocean sounds" interspersed with occasional brief public service announcements on the subject.

"The arbitrary and drastic rate increases set by the Copyright Royalty Board on 2 March threaten the very livelihood of thousands of webcasters and their millions of listeners throughout the country. The campaign to save internet radio, a grassroots movement comprised of hundreds of thousands of webcasters, artists, independent labels and 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 deadline of 15 July," said Jake Ward, a spokesman for the SaveNetRadio coalition.

News source: vnunet

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27 Comments

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As the Programming Manager and one of the DJ's at a growing Internet Radio service, I can categorically say that those of us who are actually involved in producing online content and netcasting that content and music that the CRB's decision to increase the royalty rates in the manner perscribed by the CRB will be dealt a virtual death-blow to us and any other service providers who aren't generating the revenue to cover those royalty rates. It's estimated that AOL would have to cough-up nearly US$4Million in back royalties - remember that this rate increase is retroactive to 2006. Providers such as Soma.FM, BlueMars and others will end up shuttering themselves because of the eggregious royalty increases. As dar as our service goes - who knows? We'll keep on going as long as we can. Best of luck to the other netcasters out there!

RIAA had no right to suggest this law to begin with because its supposed to be agencies like ASCAP and BMI who collect royalty fees not the artists record companies, why the hell hasn't anyone tried to make an appeal!

I am a internet radio webcaster, and this day means alot to many people, it is a way to inform the public that July 15 could be the day the "music dies". if your not a fan of net radio, so be it, but there are fans who care. enuff said.

This is a wonderful example of intelligent, efficient, effective (at least so far) protesting. All the marches and simple citizen protests are the ones that are a waste of time. This one is comprised of huge corporations, political figures, companies, lawyers and it IS working. If you live in the United States, please, please, please visit http://www.savenetradio.org/ and use their information to contact your member of Congress about this important issue.

Let's hope for the best. Thank you for posting about this on Neowin.

illz55 said,
This is a wonderful example of intelligent, efficient, effective (at least so far) protesting. All the marches and simple citizen protests are the ones that are a waste of time. This one is comprised of huge corporations, political figures, companies, lawyers and it IS working. If you live in the United States, please, please, please visit http://www.savenetradio.org/ and use their information to contact your member of Congress about this important issue.

Let's hope for the best. Thank you for posting about this on Neowin.

One thing I absolutely hate about the States policy making is that they like to make all these bigoted rules that affect much more than just the states and yet only those in the states has any say in the matter.

the protest is not going to do anything. the choice has been made and the greedy US copyright body the Copyright Royalty Board proposed is not going to change what has already been made a Final decision.

So yeah, lets never protest anything again. Lets just roll over and accept it. Protests have changed things in the past, for example, sticking with the media world, star trek was threatened with cancellation until thousands of fans wrote into the studio who kept it on the air for another season. Without that protest its unlikely the show would have stayed on the air.

I'm sure its not the only example of protests changing things but its the only one I could think of this early in the morning :P

This protest IS going to do something. It already has! This is just one more measure they are employing. You are an idiot for thinking this will do nothing and is stupid. Have you seen the list of radio stations doing this by the way? Yahoo! is doing it. Do you really think the CRB s that blind, ignorant and stupid to not care at all? They already proposed a revised bill and it wasn't good enough. Believe you me, they will at least delay the bill when the July date draws near. Do you know how many members of Congress are already/will be behind this protest? Don't just post a quick, half-assed, assumption-ridden, stupid comment.

...why the hell do so many people see this as a stupid thing to do? What else are they going to do, put a banner on their website? As if you'd care. This will grab people's attention, people who wouldn't know about this otherwise (I certainly didn't know anything before I read this article) and show them what could happen if this passes.
If you don't like it, you're probably not a fan of internet radio, so why are you bothered?

What if we don't like it and we ARE a fan of internet radio, where's the option for that? Exactly -- you assume too much.

You ask what else they are going to do -- I don't care about banners and I sure as hell don't want my listening experience to be interupted by a petty protest that won't do anything. How many people are actually going to do this? A small handful of the real number of internet radio stations out there -- and the only thing I can see this really doing is creating problems for listeners, them thinking their connection is down or the server b0rkd itself, and will simply go to another radio station.

This is about as useful as registering a petition online.

Laser_iCE said,
What if we don't like it and we ARE a fan of internet radio, where's the option for that?

What else are they supposed to do? Carry on broadcasting until the last minute possible and then being shutdown? So you'd rather your "listening experience" be shutdown forever than one day?

and how is this about as useful as registering a online petition? Those useless websites fail to do anything except get votes from people who are already miffed off about something, this is aiming to get more people aware and involved in protesting the board's decision. Its designed to show people what they will miss out on if it goes ahead. If you think protests are a joke and do nothing then you deserve to lose internet radio for doing nothing to save it

DrCheese said,

What else are they supposed to do? Carry on broadcasting until the last minute possible and then being shutdown? So you'd rather your "listening experience" be shutdown forever than one day?

and how is this about as useful as registering a online petition? Those useless websites fail to do anything except get votes from people who are already miffed off about something, this is aiming to get more people aware and involved in protesting the board's decision. Its designed to show people what they will miss out on if it goes ahead. If you think protests are a joke and do nothing then you deserve to lose internet radio for doing nothing to save it

All I'm saying is that this is going to **** more people off than it won't. I think it's an immature way to handle things, "well if we want people to know what we are doing... let's shut down our stations!" Instead, why don't them simply have an informative speech at one point in time or another, and then continue on with their playing?

Yeah! Let's stick it to the man! Let's show him what we're made of! We can turn off our broadcasting! If that doesn't convince them to change their ways, nothing will!

Seriously, as someone said below, it's not going to do anything.

Actually, if anything, it'll kick the **** stations off that are just random kids who decided to download shoutcast one day and now think they're the wickedest DJ around! Please, there are other ways to do things than protest. They could create a website that informs people of what is going on, they could get media coverage by going on the news, they could play half the songs, they could accept donations from listeners -- but no, let's jump straight to the shut down of stations.

Laser_iCE said,
Instead, why don't them simply have an informative speech at one point in time or another, and then continue on with their playing?

I dont know about your station, but the station that I listen to has been doing that ever since the initial decision. And evidently that didn't do much to raise awareness.

Primexx said,

I dont know about your station, but the station that I listen to has been doing that ever since the initial decision. And evidently that didn't do much to raise awareness.

You know about it, right?

Laser_iCE said,
Instead, why don't them simply have an informative speech at one point in time or another, and then continue on with their playing?

Do you even listen to internet radio(?) cause many stations do have informative speech, banners, blog posts, whatever ... . There is even a collective website to inform the listeners!

Do you even realise how many people are involved in this, how many new talented dj didn't I discovered (and others) with di.fm?! What about all those shows that di.fm is broadcasting? Where should they go? Where should I go?

One day is nothing compared to eternal silence!

Laser_iCE said,
They could create a website that informs people of what is going on, they could get media coverage by going on the news, they could play half the songs, they could accept donations from listeners -- but no, let's jump straight to the shut down of stations.

You, quite obviously, don't listen to internet radio, and should not be expressing opinions against this action. Internet radios HAVE been doing everything you just said--for months. So to say they are "jumping straight to the shut down of stations" is flat out wrong.

I don't blame you for being uninformed. No, I blame you for being uninformed, a person who clearly does NOT listen to internet radio, and complaining about an action they plan on taking that's only intention is to keep internet radio alive.

Laser_iCE said,
This will do nothing but **** the listeners off. Nice one.

uh , what's one day compared to being banned forever?

The idea is that it will annoy users into protesting and doing more

Oh what a great way to protest, do exactly what they feared would happen, when will people use the things in their heads.

Its quite common isn't it? It shows what the impact would be. That's how Strikes work - you should the employer how much value the workforce has. Here they're showing what value Internet Radio has by depriving people of it for a day.

its supposed to gain attention, that is the point, and the point is succesfull, it got a post on this news site along with many others


Although i do agree with them, it doesnt matter what it is, they are doubling the price...thats a huge jump, think of anything you buy, then imagine that from now on its 2x as much