The End of Web Radio?

The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, recently decided to increase the amount of royalties extracted from smaller radio sites. Some estimate that these cost increases could jack up royalty payments by 300 to 1200 percent - meaning goodbye to most small webcasters who are already usually tight on operating funds.

In the old system, royalty payments were calculated as a percentage of the caster’s total revenue. This protection is gone with the new scheme which calculates royalties based on traffic and other factors. Most larger entities, such as Live365, were already paying at the higher rate. Smaller companies paid what they could.

As you may image, the CRB is acting at the behest of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The same industry group that is suing grandmas and the dead are now trying to ensure that web radio goes the way of Napster.

The new policy seems specifically designed to crush the little guy. Note that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays. Why the difference?

The CRB has ensured that Clear Channel homogenization will continue. Undoubtedly, something the RIAA welcomes. It’s less confusing when you know exactly who you need to pay to get your song air time.

Help stop this war on diversity, competition, and consumers; get more info and sign a petition to save Net radio at the According to the site, “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.”
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