Being able to listen to Internet radio is very important to Alison and me. Besides the fact that had it not been for Radio Paradise we might never have met, we enjoy being able to listen to decent music whenever we want. Music that can't be heard on conventional, corporate controlled radio anymore.
But Internet radio is in danger of extinction at the hands of the recording industry, as represented by the RIAA. The recording companies have been trying to quash Internet radio since it began early in this decade, out of misplaced fear. They almost succeeded in 2002, but pressure from Congress forced them to negotiate a reasonably fair royalty plan.
But the industry is once again on the march, and has enlisted the aid of the US Copyright Office, which recently set new royalties for Internet radio stations to pay to the recording companies. Not to the composers and performers of the music (the stations already pay royalties to them), but to the record companies themselves. Royalties that traditional radio stations do not have to pay.
These royalty rates are astronomical, forcing most Internet radio stations to pay as much as 125% of their annual revenues to the RIAA. And the payments will be retroactive to the beginning of 2006, which will bankrupt these stations for sure.
You can read more detailed information about this, and some thoughts about it all from Bill Goldsmith, the founder of Radio Paradise, at Save Our Internet Radio.
And then, please take a few moments to sign this petition which will be forwarded to Congress in hopes that they will, as they did in 2002, stop this injustice.
Also, please consider writing your Congressional representatives by mail or email and ask them to help in this fight.