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Internet Radio Will Go Silent on June 26th 250

Posted by Zonk
from the up-against-the-wall dept.
Spamicles writes "Thousands of U.S. webcasters plan to turn off the music and go silent this Tuesday, June 26th, to draw attention to an impending royalty rate increase that, if implemented, would lead to the virtual shutdown of this country's Internet radio industry. In March, the Copyright Royalty Board announced that it would raise royalties for Internet broadcasters, moving them from a per-song rate to a per-listener rate. The increase would be made retroactive to the beginning of 2006 and would double over the next five years. Internet radio sites would be charged per performance of a song. A "performance" is defined as the streaming of one song to one listener; thus a station that has an average audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 "performances" for each song it plays."
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Internet Radio Will Go Silent on June 26th

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  • Solidarity! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:37PM (#19622121)
    I'm not even in the music industry, but I'll be shutting down my web site (w/a notice explaining why & a link if someone has one) on that day to bring awareness to this issue.
    • Re:Solidarity! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by going_the_2Rpi_way (818355) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:45PM (#19622207) Homepage
      This is an interesting notion. Voluntarily shutting down blogs, podcast sites and others can maybe help bring some attention to the general public about how seriously worried content creators are about this.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ChicagoBiker (702744)
        Why let the corporations win? This is what they want. Internet silence? Why not march on Washington and demand that the people who represent us look out for OUR interests instead of the companies who run terrestrial radio stations?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Brad Eleven (165911)
          It's for one day, to draw attention and/or cause action. We Americans do tend to respond most forcefully to any of our conveniences being interrupted.

          I think it'd be more effective to do follow Madonna's example from a few years back. Instead of going silent, they could spoken word broadcasts to summarize the problem and outline actions that citizens could take.

          In fact, I'd like to see news organizations do the same. Of course, I'd also like to see pigs fly. Independent operators are looking at the destruct
      • No Kidding (Score:5, Funny)

        by Nick Driver (238034) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:17PM (#19624499)
        Shut off the whole freakin' internet for a day in protest.
        I'm all for it. Everybody should at least try having a real life for at least one 24-hour period anyway.
  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:38PM (#19622139) Journal
    .... five users wonder what happened to their favorite web site.
    • I thought that as well, until I saw the list of participants on savenetradio.org. They have some big names like Yahoo Music, Pandora, and Rhapsody on there, so a lot of people are going to notice this IF they don't decide to change their minds at the last minute.
    • by garcia (6573) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:18PM (#19622481) Homepage
      .... five users wonder what happened to their favorite web site.

      I'm sure those that listen to Internet radio will know ahead of time and are outraged by this decision. The rest of those that surf the Internet, those that make the laws, and just about everyone else (minus those that will see a financial gain from this ruling) don't know or care to know about what will happen to Internet radio.

      And unfortunately it's not +1 Funny either.
    • newsflash (Score:4, Informative)

      by Simon Garlick (104721) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @09:56PM (#19624701)
      USA != Internet.

      That is all.

  • Ob (Score:5, Funny)

    by edittard (805475) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:39PM (#19622147)

    Thousands of U.S. webcasters plan to turn off the music and go silent this Tuesday, June 26th
    Coming up after the break, John Cage's estate launches biggest copyright infringement suit ever.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx.b c . ca> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:43PM (#19622187) Journal
    ... internet radio stations that weren't running for profit, but simply for the enjoyment of broadcasting? How does soundexchange propose to get blood from a stone? Or would that be disallowed completely, even if the person wasn't broadcasting any music that they might have say over?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:51PM (#19622257)
      Or would that be disallowed completely, even if the person wasn't broadcasting any music that they might have say over?

      Exactly. Soundexchange gets paid even for non-member music. The law says that if you can't pay them, you don't play the music.

      Now, there is one thing though, Soundexchange is required to allow artists and radio stations to contract directly and individually and is required to track all of these individual contracts so that they don't bill for those recordings. As creative commons grows, we might have a bit of a weapon to fight back with, if on our end we set up something more-or-less automatic for creating those contracts, it may turn out that we can swamp Soundexchange with them if they haven't already automated their end of the deal. If we can, and Soundexchange fails to keep up their end of the law, since they are "deputized" to operate the law, their failure might be prosecutable as malfeasance (if you can convince the Department of Justice to care about corporations), especially if it can be shown that at some step of the way they intentionally refused a contract or knowingly billed for a contracted performance.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by nyzapatista (1031338)
        As creative commons grows, we might have a bit of a weapon to fight back with, if on our end we set up something more-or-less automatic for creating those contracts, it may turn out that we can swamp Soundexchange with them if they haven't already automated their end of the deal.

        That's intention of projects like the Antenna Alliance [antalliance.org], trying to make it easier for artists to release their works on CC licenses. At the same time it makes their music freely available directly through the website. So it give
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      ... internet radio stations that weren't running for profit, but simply for the enjoyment of broadcasting?
      Hippies and communists, the lot of them. Burn them I say! Burn the witch!

      Seriously, they'll be silenced, so that you may return to your regularly scheduled monoculture of Britney Spears' current clone.
  • except for Last.fm (Score:4, Informative)

    by dotpavan (829804) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:44PM (#19622191) Homepage
    Pandora, Yahoo music and many others are participating except for CBS-owned Last.fm [techcrunch.com]
    • by GiMP (10923) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:58PM (#19622331)
      Last.fm is, at least historically, a UK company. Since their servers (and the music) is broadcast from the UK, I'm not sure this will affect them. The problem now, of course, is that they're now owned by CBS. Still, with Lastfm being a UK branch/division, they should be safe.

      But of course, IANAL.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This will piss me off if I've got no music. I *paid* to listen to the music there. Will they cut me off?

      I understand the protest, and I sympathize. But I'm not a "free" subscriber. I've paid them for a service. Will they deliver it?
      • Perfect (Score:5, Insightful)

        by node 3 (115640) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:19PM (#19625149)
        That's exactly the point. To get the attention of selfish people like you who will only take action when their daily routine is affected.

        Maybe instead of complaining to us, or to pandora, you should complain to Congress. Make the need for such outages unnecessary, and we'll stop promoting them.
    • The problem with Government is that they forgot they were trying to legislate an international network.

      Radio stations like EBM Radio [ebm-radio.de] are purely unaffected mostly by this ruling. Of course they don't play much MPAA music as it is (otherwise why would we listen to them?)

      Maybe some enterprising foreigner will setup a internet radio proxy service overseas beyond the reach of the MPAA?
      • You have the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) mixed up with the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kindgott (165758)
      I'm kind of glad on this point, only for the reason that I listen to last.fm at work and it makes my day that much more tolerable.

      I guess I shouldn't even listen to them, though, for that day and just bring some CDs to work.
  • Meanwhile... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by poptones (653660) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:44PM (#19622193) Journal
    Magnatune and other *truly* indie publishers go on business as usual.

    The RIAA doesn't need another 500 "internet stations." This might be the biggest non-event since the breakup of the Smiths.
  • because, like the radio, it broadcasts a stream, users 'tune in' to the stream. The stream does not reposition for new connections that have 'tuned in' with the exception of an obligatory "THANKS FOR LISTENING TO THIS STATION" or whatever. There is no interactivity, the user can not choose where in the history of the stream to begin listening. This is a bunch of crap. =(
  • The Copyright Royalty Board has changed its initials to SCO...
  • Here's a good link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scott Lockwood (218839) * on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:49PM (#19622235) Homepage Journal
    If you want to find your local congress critter, and ping them on the subject, Go here [capwiz.com]. This link takes you to a nice little cgi app that takes your zip code, and gives you the phone numbers for your house and senate rep's, along with a short script of talking points. If the Internet Radio Equality Act, (S. 1353 in the senate, and H.R. 2060 in the house) can get some sponsors, and get passed, we're all in much better shape.
    • by TitusC3v5 (608284)
      I actually emailed my congressman (Rick Boucher) back in late may about this issue. To my surprise, I actually received a response from him about a week ago about the matter. His response was that he was currently co-authoring H.R. 2060 in hopes of fixing this situation. At the very least, it gives me hope that we may be able to save internet radio.
  • Retroactive? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ricree (969643) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:51PM (#19622267)
    So, you know those prices we told you to pay last year? We were totally kidding about that, it definitely should have been higher then. So go ahead and fork over the rest of the money you owe us.


    Seriously, though, how in the heck can a price increase be retroactive?
    • Re:Retroactive? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:02PM (#19622363)
      The original rates were set for a five year period. After the five year period was up, new rates still had not been determined, so the old ones were used in the interim. These are the new rates, which take effect beginning when the previous five year period ended. Basically everyone paying the old rates knew full well that they were going to go up and be "retroactive", it is not something that was just sprung on them.

      There is a lot of bullshit and propaganda on both sides of this, don't take either side's word for anything.
      • The UCC seems to say that, in a situation where a third party is supposed to set a price but fails to do so, the price is set by law as being a "reasonable price at the time for delivery". A price which obligates a reseller to shut down is hardly reasonable.

      • Re:Retroactive? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by belg4mit (152620) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @08:17PM (#19624157) Homepage
        Bullshit. It was still sprung on them. Even if they knew that new rates would be
        determined whenever enough palms had been greased, they had no way of knowing to
        what extent people were going to fuck them over. So, once the term of the old rates
        lapsed, what were they supposed to do? Shut down, because Amazing Kreskin^WAC
        says they should have known they'd be screwed? Or keep on going, expecting things
        not to be too different?

        Compare, for instance, a renter and a landlord. If I have a lease with my landlord
        to rent for $500 per month for a year and I make those payments everythings fine.
        If at the end of the year I continue on as a tenant at will, and still pay $500 per
        month, then everything's fine. The landlord cannot come back in three months and tell
        me that the new rent is $750 per month and I owe him $750 in back rent; regardless
        of whether or not he told me when the lease lapsed that he'd be raising the rent but
        hadn't decided how hard he wanted to screw me yet.
    • by GiMP (10923)
      My question is, what will happen to the small stations where their small audience would have generated fewer fees than they have paid for the per-song rate? Will they get refunds? Of course, these are in the minority, but still...

      Without knowing the actual details of the rate changes, it is hard to say for certain.. but this sounds like it could actually be a good thing for the smaller broadcasters. Unfortunately, the fact it is retroactive is repulsive.
      • Re:Retroactive? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ChicagoBiker (702744) <turkchgo.mac@com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:36PM (#19622619) Homepage
        I don't think you're getting the point of this law. The corporations who support it don't run internet radio and they don't want it to continue. This is the easiest way for terrestrial radio companies to make "Internet Radio" illegal. If it's too expensive for your to create and run "myradio.com" then everyone will be forced back to 97.9 FM and they can continue their monopoly of the airwaves.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by xigxag (167441)
          If that were indeed the plan, it would be by far the most stupid plan ever devised in the history of the world. After all, even if the terrestrial radio companies got every single radio station in the United States to shut down, the rest of the entire planet, which is still hooked up to the internet, would be able to easily fill in the void.

          It's simply not possible for "internet radio" to die at this point. Only for the US to further drive its own companies into irrelevance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because the rates are set by the government. And when the old rates ran out, everyone agreed to keep using them and to pay the new rates retroactively once they negotiated new ones. It took them a year and a half of arguing over the new rates to achieve a settlement, so the backlog built up quite a lot.

      Since, per their own contracts, the Live365's of the world pay royalties on behalf of all the little guys that are their customers, and since Live365 (etc) didn't raise their billing rates, they're now in t
      • Re:Retroactive? (Score:5, Informative)

        by idobi (820896) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:33PM (#19622595) Homepage
        I run idobi Radio. We're an alternative/rock station that's doing fairly well, in terms of popularity.

        The rates set by the royalty board is incredibly high and completely unfair. I agree I'm bias on the issue, but if the current rates are upheld, we would be required to pay $900,000/year just in royalties.

        The current rates, if applied to traditional radio, would require a station like KROQ in Los Angeles to pay $1.4 billion/year just in royalties. Last year, they mad $67 million in revenue. If one of the most successful traditional radio station cannot afford these royalties, how can any internet radio station that still developing a revenue base be able to?

        http://www.idobi.com/news/?p=25408 [idobi.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mark-t (151149)
      I've been wondering the same thing myself. How are they going to enforce those payments, exactly? The most they MIGHT be able to do is shut the radio station down, but that sure isn't the same thing.
    • by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:35PM (#19622615)
      just pay them with retro money, like Greek Drachma or DDR Mark...
  • It seems that they got what they want in larger royalties but they're effectively shutting down the businesses that would pay those royalties. Exactly what do they think they've won here? I'm not an internet radio listener but the logic of forcing your revenue stream, however pitiful you think it might be, out of business doesn't seem to be right for anyone involved.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:01PM (#19622349)
      Exactly what do they think they've won here?

      Distribution Control.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ChicagoBiker (702744)
      They're not interested in actually getting these royalties. They're interested in protecting their already established FM and AM radio models. Where they choose what gets played and how many times.

      Internet radio is screwing that up.

      This law wasn't made to make them more money, this law was made to shut down Pandora, Last.fm and Live365.

      Old school radio and royalty payment markets don't want you listening to streaming music on the internet. You might make an artist they don't control popular and rich and che
  • by LinDVD (986467) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:56PM (#19622307)
    You want a politician to respond to you? Snail mail is *still* the best way. Take ideas from a template if you must, but make most of the stuff, if not all of it up yourself. Be concise, but be sure and make your point. Bitching about a situation is obviously easier, but I got a reply back from Senator Boxer about a week ago (with the original letter sent in late May), which stated the following:


    Thank you for writing to me regarding proposed changes to the assessment of royalty fees that Internet radio broadcasters pay to musicians and record labels. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

    As you probably know, the federal Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has released its plan for charging online radio broadcasters for royalties. The Internet Radio Equality act of 2007 (S.1353), which was recently introduced in the Senate, would nullify the CRB's proposal and prevent the new royalties assessment plan from taking effect.

    S.1353 is currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please be assured that I will take your comments under advisement, should this legislation come before the full Senate.

    Again, thank you for writing to me. Please keep in touch with me about this and any other issue of concern to you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sauge (930823)
      Fax it - snail mail is held for weeks for terrorism checks. Fax the D.C. office and the local office(s).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      You know, I get almost-identical form letters whenever I email my senators.
  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by do_kev (1086225) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:56PM (#19622311)
    The fact that this price increase is retroactive absolutely blows my mind, especially when you consider how large of a price increase this will be. Retroactive changes to the law is one of the hallmarks of a failed legal system. How many radio broadcasters will even have the kind of money that is now being demanded of them?
  • Supply and demand (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EEDAm (808004)
    Ok well here's talking yourself into the jaws of the lion on Slashdot and IANFRWW (I am no &*@!ing Right Wing Wan&#&!) but I struggle to see why this is inappropriate. The content of these stations is the music. The value of the station to advertisers is the number of people who are going to listen to it AND those stations use those stats to price their ads with the ad providers. Paying pay-per-track rather than pay-per-listener is clearly inequitable when the stations themselves earn money
    • by mark-t (151149)

      Paying pay-per-track rather than pay-per-listener is clearly inequitable when the stations themselves earn money on a per listener basis.
      And what if they _DON'T_ earn money on a per listener basis? Trying to make exemptions for amateur operations wouldn't work because that would just create even more inequity.
    • Re:Supply and demand (Score:5, Informative)

      by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:22PM (#19622507)
      Yeah, but why does this apply to Internet radio and not broadcast radio? The principle you described is the model for broadcast radio, yet broadcast radio does not pay this way. This is about the record industry eliminating internet radio. The record industry controls what is played over broadcast radio, there are too many internet radio stations for them to get that kind of control over. The other problem is that the amount of the pay-per-listener fee exceeds what advertisers are willing to pay per listener.
      • by mark-t (151149)

        The other problem is that the amount of the pay-per-listener fee exceeds what advertisers are willing to pay per listener.
        That's an interesting point I don't recall seeing brought up before. Do you have a reference?
        • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

          by karmatic (776420)
          This is the crux of why everyone is so upset - it's impossible to grow to any significant size and be ad-supported under the new rates.

          An example: [idobi.com]

          KROQ, "the nation's top rock station", would owe $1.4 _billion_ in royalties in 2010, if they paid the new internet rates. Their annual revenue is around $67 million. They are a highly successful radio station, and don't have to pay the per-user bandwidth fees that internet stations do (economies of scale). See the problem?
          • But KROQ doesn't have to pay the new Internet rates because it's not an Internet music station. Which is the whole point. This law seems to be designed solely to maintain the existence of traditional radio stations and put Internet music stations out of business. Royalty payments have nothing to do with it, other than as the means by which Internet music stations are to be destroyed.
        • by zotz (3951)
          "That's an interesting point I don't recall seeing brought up before. Do you have a reference?"

          Hmmm now here's a thought.

          Design a little market place...

          OK, well a web site to go along with your net radio.

          Let advertisers bid per listener to place their ads for the upcoming block.

          You will need to know what it takes to pay all royalties and whatever expenses you want to cover and then set a minimum bid.

          If the minimum bid is exceeded, take the payment from the winning bidder and run your normal show. If the bid
      • why does this apply to Internet radio and not broadcast radio?
        Because broadcast radio is analog and Internet radio is digital. Seriously. See 17 USC 106(6) [copyright.gov].
    • The content of these stations is the music. The value of the station to advertisers is the number of people who are going to listen to it AND those stations use those stats to price their ads with the ad providers. Paying pay-per-track rather than pay-per-listener is clearly inequitable when the stations themselves earn money on a per listener basis.

      The issue here is that internet radio stations want to pay what satellite radio pays. They were already paying double what satellite radio pays, and now they face astronomical increases that would bankrupt them.

      Check out my earlier post [slashdot.org] for some useful websites.

      I am not an internet radio broadcaster, just a listener.

  • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:12PM (#19622429) Journal
    This current plan to hike royalty rates would be apocalyptic for internet radio. Its retroactive effect alone (back to January 1, 2006) would bankrupt all but the huge players.

    Here are some useful sites where you can find out what you can do. If nothing else, contact your congressional representatives and tell them to save internet radio by sponsoring the Internet Radio Equality Act.

    http://www.savenetradio.org/ [savenetradio.org]
    http://www.savenetradio.org/act_now/index.html [savenetradio.org]
    http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/callalert /index.tt?alertid=9731806 [capwiz.com]
  • by Zorque (894011) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:13PM (#19622443)
    I now know who cares and who doesn't. I got a letter back within about a week from Jim Matheson, our Representative, who seemed very adamant about how wrong this proposed legislation is. He even went on in detail about why he wanted internet radio to stay the way is is (or become free, even). Bob Bennett didn't respond. Orrin Hatch, who is himself a recording artist (in a loose usage of the term), seemed to be sidestepping the issue in the letter he sent back. It was almost as though he agreed with the rate hikes. How someone who gets paid to make music can support the RIAA is beyond me. Though I guess Roarin' Orrin's reply didn't really surprise me, I guess there are things in life you never get used to.
    • I got a letter back within about a week from Jim Matheson, our Representative, who seemed very adamant about how wrong this proposed legislation is. He even went on in detail about why he wanted internet radio to stay the way is is (or become free, even).

      [Emphasis mine.]

      You mean how wrong the planned rate hikes are, don't you? The proposed legislation would stop them.
  • by Brad Zink (1119269) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:19PM (#19622493) Journal
    This issue is emblematic of a much larger phenomenon that is only going to increase over time. That phenomenon is the increasing gap between modern society and what the bureaucracy perceives it to be. The government had enough trouble when change was slow. Now as the speed of change gets quicker by the week, the out-of-touch nature of government becomes not just an issue to laugh about, but one to be of great concern. Political ideology combined with an insularity from change will stifle those who are the best and the brightest at the expense of those that are the most powerful.
  • by FrostedWheat (172733) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:29PM (#19622565)

    They should really be using Ogg Vorbis, because it's VBR nature means it encodes silence just that much better than MP3 or AAC ;-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by whoop (194)
      No way, 512kb encoding makes the silence sound WAY more realistic if you have any sort of mediocre sound system.
  • Thousands of U.S. webcasters plan to turn off the music and go silent this Tuesday, June 26th

    It's June. The kids are out of school. The boat is in the water. The hamburgs are on the grill. There are a million better things to do than listen to the radio - any radio.

    • I know this may come as a shock to you, but a great many people in this country do actually work during the summer.

      Bills to pay and all that.

      Some of those places even let their employees listen to internet radio stations while they work. There will be a lot of people who notice.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:31PM (#19622585)
    The US stations could set up SSH tunnels to servers in Canada - 'internet underground railroad radio stations'...
  • ....establishing a network of stations, for profit, extracted out of the many and various web broadcasters.

    For the only way to deal with the irrationality of what is proposed is to do so with money and teamwork between the broadcaster. And that typically happens through business broadcast networks.

    In other words, what many web broadcaster have accomplished in establishing web broadcasting audience is now going to be taken away from them as they go out of business or are merged and either shut down or become
  • by reaktor (949798) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:01PM (#19622783)
    Here's a letter from the gen manager at WCPE:

    http://theclassicalstation.org/save_our_streams.sh tml [theclassicalstation.org]
  • So here's a thought...

    You set up a SINGLE SERVER out of the country, say Sweden, Norway, Canada. You feed a SINGLE STREAM to that server. So you pay royalties on that single stream.

    Now, that server just happens to mirror out to a few thousand listeners. But it's a different server, not you the Internet Radio Station. You're streaming just a single stream...

    Potential here? I could see relocating a few big boxes and a few fat pipes out of the US just for such a purpose. Could be a lucrative little

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:53PM (#19623171)
    Now I'm going to say two words that will automatically get me modded down around here, but Rush Limbauqh had a segment about this on his show a few weeks ago when he was explaining why internet feeds contained minutes of silence during song parodies, etc. and about this new policy and how it was going to kill internet radio and wasn't fair. He explained that for his show, it could easily translate into $36,000 a day worth of royalities that would be hard for even a show with a large audience (and high ad rates) to cover.

    I do listen to a lot of Online Radio, primarily KTRS 550, and KMOX out of my home town of St. louis at work. There are some afternoon shows I like to listen too and now since I live out both of their radio range (I can get KMOX sometimes at night, but now that the Cards games have moved...)

    Still I listen to more podcasts of shows that aren't in my market like the Tony Kornheiser show and then some of the ESPN shows like PTI.

    I had my own radio show on the college radio back in the day, and I remember we were charged by the song, not the number of listeners, but as a low power system, I'm not sure how all those rates are calculated anymore. If that is still the case, this just seems like a way to cut competition for terrestrial radio stations.

  • And no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?

    While this is a a noble gesture, unfortunately it wont reach the people that mke the rules. The only thing that will catch their attention is cash.
  • unfortunately (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rubberglove (1066394)
    The real goal should be to have the RIAA go silent for a day.
  • by rjolley (1118681) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @07:44PM (#19623923)
    Hasn't the music industry realized yet that without radio (in any form) they would have zero distribution for new music and fall flat on their faces? If anything, these radio stations should be paid by the record labels for playing their songs for free and getting them much needed exposure, especially when it comes to the next big pop artist. Unbelievable.
    • by jonwil (467024)
      Thats the whole point of what the RIAA are doing to internet radio.
      They want to kill all competition for the top-40 crapola plays exactly what the RIAA wants them to play stations (clear channel et al)

      The RIAA likes radio but only when the stations are playing the music that the RIAA thinks should get promotion (i.e. the next big pop artist) and not what someone else thinks should get promotion (i.e. that obscure indy rock band)
  • No dealing with bad net connections or other shit. Just turn on XM receiver and boom music.

    Only thing I love/hate are the top hits lists. Seems like there isn't much variation (maybe the fans really do vote for the same stuff day in day out), but fortunately there are rock/techno/classic channels to pad out the day :-)

    Nobody said you had to unicast music over TCP/IP. That was your choice. Now they're adding ridiculous rates to the mix, hey, don't play RIAA brand music. Problem solved.

    Tom
  • by rantingkitten (938138) <.kitten. .at. .mirrorshades.org.> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @08:04PM (#19624071) Homepage
    As the operator of a synthpop and darkwave internet radio station [mirrorshades.org] (plug!) myself, my response is "kiss my ass". Like most other stations, I broadcast things that aren't ever going to be heard on conventional radio, giving (relatively) niche or obscure artists that much more free exposure. I know this works for two reasons:

    1. I myself have bought albums after hearing certain artists' songs on other net radio stations -- music I would never, ever, ever have heard otherwise except perhaps in the drunken haze of a goth club.

    2. Several independent artists have sent me singles and even entire albums and other promo kits, encouraging me to put them in rotation. One synthpop artist [jamesdstark.com] wrote:

    Thanks I appreciate the exposure, it's hard to get the music out as an independent artist which is why I'm trying to get radioplay. The CD is the mail.

    And another [redflag.org] said, after sending me some tracks and I liked them but mentioned I'd never heard of this group before:

    Yeah, that is what we are experiencing with Red Flag. The darkwave scene
    just loves the music but we need to really get the message out there.


    This has happened dozens of times. It's good for the artists who are trying to get noticed; it's good for the audience who gets to discover new music; it's good for the broadcaster cause it's just fun. I get permission from many of the labels or artists to play their stuff, and when I don't, well, it's a freaking 96k broadcast that can't be copied without some technical know-how (certainly much more difficult than jamming a tape into your radio and hitting "record"). Exactly who is being harmed here?

    You know, there ain't no Benjamens in the net broadcasting trade. We do this for fun and the love of the music. The RIAA's outmoded and antiquated business models, and their continued attempts to strangle the life out of emergent technologies, is absolutely appalling. I'll continue to broadcast from my host in Germany and here's a big screw you to the suits. I don't make a single cent off my broadcast, and I don't play the kind of music that would come close to competing with the mass-appeal fare on the normal airwaves. You'll never get a dime from me.
  • by tinrobot (314936) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @08:34PM (#19624279)
    This law only kills internet radio in the United States, it doesn't affect internet radio stations outside the US. I already listen to stations outside the US, and I'm sure there will be a heckuva lot more if this legislation passes.

    So, in effect, this law will only serve to outsource these stations to other countries -- places where the RIAA can't extract any royalties at all. Brilliant, RIAA, brilliant...
  • Now I can start bittorent, so I have for at least 24 hours music
  • This might actually be a good thing. How? Internet radio webcasters could still use non-evil licensed music such as available on places like magnatune.com [magnatune.com]. That would then give the non-evil music more air-play and boost its acceptance over that of the companies with the old business model of music (based on rape the listener just enough to avoid their death). Carried far enough, maybe the old business model will finally die the death it deserves.

  • You think real estate prices, gas prices, health insurance prices, beef prices, college tuition, and toothbrush prices can quadruple while music royalties stay the same? This isn't Japan. It's U. Know. Where.. Inflation is a fact of life.
  • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:47PM (#19625013) Homepage
    Let mp3/ogg/wma/whatever propagate where they will. If you never pay for music now, you never will. And then there are those like me who like to sample things before spending money on it. If it's something I won't listen to more than a few times here and there, I likely am not going to buy it. Why should I? I'd be happy to just listen to it on the Internet streams or radio when it plays. No need to own something like that. Of the mp3s that I have downloaded, I've either bought the CD used (or borrowed from a friend if even the used price was ridiculous ... usually the 'one good song on the whole disk' situations), or simply removed the downloaded stuff, since it isn't something I listened to much, and if I did, I'd want better quality.

    Use compressed music as advertisement.

    Artists should be making most of their money off of live performances.

    Sell CDs for a reasonable price (this is the real problem, RIAA. Why are you too greedy to see this?). $10 instead of $20. I *might* pay $15, if it is an artist I really dig and there are a lot of good songs on the CD. For older music, sell it for $5-$8 per CD. Sell MP3 CDs with 3-10 albums on them in compressed format for $20 (or the equivalent online, whatever).

    Why is this so difficult? People don't pay for the shit because it's ridiculously over-priced. I definitely won't pay for compressed music, and buy most stuff used these days, or from local bands themselves at CD release parties ($5 a CD).

    Compressed music == advertisement for the real product. If your product isn't worth paying for, then maybe you should fix THAT problem. For stuff I like and want to add to my collection, I much prefer having the uncompressed 'master' to encode and catalog as I see fit. (on that note, stop with the bullshit DRM crap, Mmmkay?).

    Just some of my thoughts on the subject.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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