Americans, Please Act: Internet Radio Equality Act
If you enjoy listening to Internet-based radio stations like SOMA FM, please take a brief moment to lobby your legislators. The Internet Radio Equality Act needs co-sponsors in the Senate. The aim of the bill is to override a March decision by the Copyright Royalty Board, at the behest of the RIAA, to drastically increase the royalty fees for music streamed through the Internet.
What is really upsetting is that the $20 billion commercial radio industry is exempt from royalties! Meanwhile, over on the Internet:
The six largest Internet-only radio services anticipate combined revenue of only $37.5 million in 2006, but will pay a whopping 47% (or $17.6 million) in sound recording performance royalties under the new CRB ruling.
Since a lot of Internet broadcasters are small, independent operations with shallow pockets, it is feared that many will be forced to cease operations. There is substantial fear that this will bring the funky weird planet known as Internet Radio more towards the monotonous monopolistic drone usually heard on traditional commercial radio. I would rather that not happen, so I dropped the following missives on my Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and I’ll share it here with you, too, in case you’d like to spend a few minutes to make the Internet a better place:
I tried to call your Washington office but did not get through. Thank you for taking the time to listen to a constituent.
Please sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.
Long ago I stopped listening to commercial radio because it all sounds the same and is full of obnoxious commercials. Internet radio like SOMA FM has since become vital to my cultural experience, exposing me to a diversity of artists and musical styles that I would never have heard otherwise. Since I began listening to Internet radio stations like SOMA FM in the past few years, I have purchased many CDs from artists that I would never have heard about through traditional radio. Internet radio is a critical cultural asset and we would all lose were the new royalty rules to destroy this medium.
For California, this seems especially important–as a computer engineer, I moved to the Bay Area in 1999 as part of the dot-com revolution. Fostering the development of new technology has shown many great results not only for the economy of California, but also for the positive social innovations that have resulted. Thank you for acting in our best interests.
More details as to what you can do at: