Do you know that you can actually listen to music through a radio in the Internet? Internet radio is a service given free of charge by independent broadcasting companies that transmit music and radio programs to the computer. They are usually exclusive to the Internet. This makes surfing the Web fun since you can listen to your favorite genre of songs or a mixture of them.
Lately, there were reports that the Copyright Royalty Board has increased the rates these internet based radio stations have to pay to broadcast each song on air. The affected broadcasters appealed to this decision since this will greatly affect their broadcasting. Unfortunately, their appeal was denied. Even the musicians whose songs are being played on these radio stations have opposed this increase by the Copyright Royalty Board. They are concerned that this increase in rates might cause these radio stations to fold up and they will lose their exposure since some of them have songs that are not commonly played on public radio stations, such as children’s songs, and religious songs. Public radio stations will not play those songs because they don’t contribute to the sales of the company. They would rather play stuff from the known artists and bands.
These new rates will be implemented on the 15th of July, 2007. We have only less than a couple of months to try and do something about it. Two Senators, namely Ron Wyden and Sam Brownback formatted and passed the Internet Radio Equality Act, whose aim is to save the Internet radio industry. This act would make the decision by the Copyright Royalty Board to increase royalties from 300 to 1200 percent void. They will in turn set a royalty rate for five years at the same amount satellite radio services are paying, which is 7.5% of their revenue. This bill will also alter the royalty rate setting standard in royalty arbitrations so that the standards by webcasters will be the same as those applied to royalty arbitrations by satellite radios. Several major names in the music industry have already expressed their support for this bill in order to help their fellow musicians to be given a chance in their life.
A coalition by the name SaveNetRadio which is a group that helps these internet based radio stations to improve their craft, expressed their praise for this new bill. They are group composed of music lovers, music writers, webcasters, music listeners who all collaborate together to make their music experience a memorable one. In their website, they give a detailed account of what is truly happening about our Internet radio stations and ways that we can do to help them out. They have an option there wherein you can click on their link to the numbers and addresses of your local representatives so you can contact them and try to convince them to vote in your favor for the Radio Equality Act. Every little thing will count in saving the fate of Internet radio. Even foreign internet radio users are encouraged to help by joining the coalition.