ALERT: The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger!
Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 -- retroactive to Jan 1, 2006! If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date.
Internet radio needs your help!
On March 2, 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry's future.
At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 -- that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters' royalties will grow exponentially!
Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop. Without a doubt, most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if Congress does not reverse this royalty rate, and webcasters' demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio -- including and especially conservative and Christian internet radio stations. Surviving webcasters will need "sweetheart licenses" that major record labels will be only too happy to offer, so long as the webcaster permits the major label to control the programming and playlist.
Is that the Internet radio you care to hear?
Because of this impending multi-billion dollar royalty rate increase, we are facing the virtual SHUTDOWN of Internet radio. We will lose some of the best online stations currently available -- maybe even some you don't know about:
Conservative radio networks like RighTalk.com will disappear.
Christian radio networks like Victory Broadcast Service (VBS Radio) will disappear.
Alternative Right/Left/Libertarian radio networks like BlogTalkRadio.com will disappear.
We can't let this happen. Action must be taken to stop this faulty ruling from destroying the future of Internet radio that so many millions of listeners depend on each day.
Thankfully, some members of Congress have recognized the danger of this impending rate increase, and have introduced the bipartisan "Internet Radio Equality Act" (H.R. 2060 and S. 1353) to nullify the March 2, 2007, determination of the Copyright Royalty Judges with respect to webcasting.
But we only have THREE WEEKS to get these bills passed! PLEASE HELP!
TAKE ACTION: The wonderful diversity of Internet radio is enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans and provides promotional opportunities to independent talk radio shows, churches and ministries that are not available to them on broadcast radio. In just the last year Internet radio listening jumped dramatically, from 45 million listeners per month to 72 million listeners each month. Internet radio is already popular, and it is already benefiting thousands of pastors and artists who are finding new listeners online every day.
Yesterday, thousands of webcasters observed a "day of silence" to raise awareness of the threat these new rates pose to the future of Internet radio and rally support for the legislation pending in Congress. Internet-only webcasters and broadcasters that simulcast online alerted their listeners that "silence" is what Internet radio may be reduced to after July 15th, the day on which 17 months' worth of retroactive royalty payments -- at new, exceedingly high rates -- are due to the SoundExchange collection organization, following the recent CRB decision.
Please, help save Internet radio. Click below NOW to send a FREE message to your Congressman, asking him or her to SUPPORT H.R. 2060, the "Internet Radio Equality Act":
Talk Show America 6/29/2007