Thursday, March 08, 2007

Help Internet Radio Avoid Extinction

Seems that no matter where you turn these days, some entity is trying to make a bif financial grab and by doing so, putting some one out of business. Now, The Copyright Royalty Board, has made a ruling to increase royalties paid to artists for their music when it is played to some ridiculous percentage. A percentage only the big corporate interests can afford, and they are making it retroactive to 1 January 2006. This, if not stopped, will be the death knell of internet radio - Sailor.

Corporate interests are hard at working making sure you don't have a choice because they make more money when you have no choices. Protect Your Right To Diversity Protect your right to hear eclectic indepenent radio and discover new artists.You can save Internet radio with less than five minutes of your time. Write your congressional representative today.

Pass the word to anyone you know that loves or makes music. Also, please bookmark this page and check back frequently for updates. We need your continued support and action as the situation further develops.

Tell your representative: I do not support The Copyright Royalty Board's (CRB) March 2nd decision to substantially increase royalty rates. Not only will it impact my choices, but the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) manipulation of these rates, and the CRB's indifference will hurt working artists, damage small record labels and force law abiding small webcasters, already paying a large portion of their revenue per month in royalties, out of business. This decision will also damage hundreds of small businesses providing goods and services to working artists, small record labels and small webcasters.

I respectfully ask that you evaluate the CRB decision and do whatever is necessary to establish a reasonable royalty rate for all the parties involved. Who, What and When On March 2, 2007, The CRB approved royalty rates that will bury any small webcaster, and create a heavy burden even for big broadcasters like Yahoo, AOL Music and Pandora. How high will these rates be? Around 100% of a small webcasters revenue, give or take a few points, in most cases. What?! That's impossible to pay! Yep, it sure is.. How did this happen? The RIAA told the CRB thats what they wanted, and the CRB just gave it to them.

Your're probably thinking, hey that's awful, but who are the the RIAA and CRB? RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is a lobbying group formed by the five largest record labels. They are embedded in Washington D.C. They make sure laws are written to keep them rich, no matter what. They made headlines a few years ago opening lawsuits against elderly people, single mothers and children for trading music online, even though some of them didn't even have computers. Check out the latest RIAA headlines.

The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) is part of the US Copyright Office. The Board is charged with determining the royalty rates that would be determined by a willing buyer and a willing seller in a marketplace transaction. They decided to jack the rates beyond a broadcasters means despite decades of royalty rates being 1 - 2% of broadcaster revenue. Raise your right hand if you want to take away consumer choice, hurt working artists, damage small record labels and put small webcasters out of business.

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