Internet Radio Endangered by Fees Ruling
On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board of the Library of Congress announced the new royalty rates that all Internet broadcasters must pay to SoundExchange through the year 2010 in order to legally play copyright sound recordings.
Traditional AM/FM broadcasters are exempt from having to pay such royalties. The Internet ought to be considered as cable TV -- especially since it's the same companies that provide much of the high-speed service in the US.
These new royalty rates will force out the culture of old and out of print music being rediscovered today online (such as that heard Radio Dismuke and countless others), as well as new talent and arts being discovered. It keeps diverse communities informed and cohesive over any distance. Remember, these songs aren't "stolen" as is arguably the case with file sharing. These are broadcast streams that are just being listened to and appreciated.
This fee, assessed by a supposedly impartial governmental agency, would unfairly affect Internet radio while not serving those who are most deserving of governmental assistance in being paid royalties. A song would have to be paid 14,000 times before even a single $10 payment cheque were mailed to them from the agency elected to oversee this "tax" collection. Only major record labels would see any money from this, and thousands of amateur broadcasters would be put out of business without an outlet or even go underground and broadcast illegally.
I urge you as a voting constituent and a free-speech loving American, to do whatever you can to keep this from going through. I work from home and listen to old-time jazz stations all day from around the world. I am a writer and no other music seems to work. I would like to be able to enjoy American stations. I fear I'll lose my ability to reliably listen to "the new public airwaves."
Please, help if you can. Visit Save the Streams today and do what you can to lobby your elected officials.
Tags: Royalty , Internet , Broadcasters , Royalties
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