Internet radio is protesting the substantial increase in royalties they have to pay with a Day of Silence. Yahoo! Music is silent. So is Pandora. Others participating according to the press release of SaveNetRadio:
- MTV Online
- Wizard Radio
- Born Again Radio
- Head-On Radio Network
- Zecom/Gemz Radio
- monkeygrip music cafe
- Blue Power/Guitar Speak
and many, many more. A complete list of participating radio stations can be found at www.kurthanson.com/dos.
The reason for this Day of Silence is not just the fact that the royalty rates have increased. They have increased dramatically, and will continue to increase through 2010, rising from 8/100 of a penny per performance in 2006, to 19/100 of a penny in 2010 (details can be found here). Also, these rates will be applied retroactively back to the beginning of 2006. The Day of Silence is both a protest, and to give listeners a taste of what it will be like after July 15th, when the new royalty rules go into effect.
Tim Westergren of Pandora says it best I think:
Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.
A bill called the “Internet Radio Equality Act” has already been introduced in both the Senate (S. 1353) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2060) to fix the problem and save Internet radio-and Pandora-from obliteration.
I’d like to ask you to call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to become co-sponsors of the bill. It will only take a few minutes and you can find your Congresspersons and their phone numbers by entering your zip code here.
I hope the voice of reason will beat the dollar of the lobbyists…