This just in from DAVEY D:
I'm not sure if all these new laws governing digital media (not just Internet Radio) means anything to folks. While we been debating Russell and Imus and all this is the real end game being played by those in power. As I noted in previous posts, they increased the Royalty fees by over 1200 (yes Twelve hundred percent). The rates are applied retroactively. This was a slick way for those who wish to shut down our ability to communicate to take away equal access (net neutrality). Again while many will find this boring and not as sexy as the Russell Imus debate, YOU WILL IF YOU DON'T ALREADY WILL NEED DIGITAL PLATFORMS to disseminate music and information. This includes podcasts, Internet Radio, Cell Phones and all the merging new ways that have served as an alternative to corporate radio.
The US Copyright Office along with the Music Industry and Corporate Radio lobbied and got these new rates passed which resulted in a royalty fee hike like this:. Soma FM Radio in San Francisco paid 5-10Gs annually. There rates went up to 600 thousand dollars and was due in full on May 15th. The Big radio giants cut separate deals with the RIAA (Sound Exchange) so they do not have to pay these fees.
As usual these guys have claimed they are doing this on behalf of the artists, but check people's contracts and see how much is really going back to the artists. Sadly there were some groups within the media reform movements that jumped in bed with the RIAA and basically sold us out for personal gain. They have put out this spin that they ARE REACHING OUT TO INTERNET BROADCASTERS.. That's a lie.. This my friends is the new Payola..
What has happened is that outlets like Clear Channel have already started unfolding their own Internet and HD radio stations to take the place of the smalltime Indy broadcasters that are being forced to close down and file for bankruptcy. If you listen you will hear many radio jocks feverishly pumping up their station websites. They have already cut a big deal with Google to do Internet radio ads
For those who don't think this applies to you.. trust me it absolutely does and will. Time and time again people have been pumping up the Internet as this viable alternative. Well these Music cats had all but gutted that with the new rate hike.. The Bill being proposed below is designed to overturn the ruling. Please take some time to read and do whatever you can to support this Bill.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE INTERNET RADIO EQUALITY ACT
The Internet Radio Equality Act (.pdf) has just been introduced (in
mid-afternoon) by Representative Jay Inslee and eight cosponsors, with
more cosponsors on the bill expected shortly.
The bill's major provisions:
- Nullifies the recent decision of the CRB judges
- Changes the royalty rate-setting standard that applies to Internet
radio royalty arbitrations in the future so that it is the same standard
that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations -- the 801(b)(1)
standard that balances the needs of copyright owners, copyright users,
and the public (rather than "willing buyer / willing seller"). (For more
detail on this point, read the recent RAIN issue on "Copyright law,"
- Instructs future CRBs that the minimum annual royalty per service may
be set no higher than $500. Establishes a "transitional" royalty rate,
until the 2011-15 CRB hearing is held, of either .33 cents per listener
hour, or 7.5% of annual revenues, as selected by the provider for that
year. Those rates would be applied retroactively to January 1, 2006.
(The logic behind this rate, incidentally, is an attempt to match the
royalty rate that satellite radio pays for this royalty -- thus the name
of the bill.)
- Expands the Copyright Act's Section 118 musical work license for
noncommercial webcasters to enable noncomms to also perform sound
recordings over Internet radio at royalty rates designed for
noncommercial entities, and sets an transition royalty at 150% of the
royalty amount paid by each webcaster in 2004 for their "musical works"
royalty (i.e., to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC).
What can you do?
Now that the bill has been introduced, the www.SaveNetRadio.org "call to
action" is specific and direct: The site is now asking listeners to call
their Representative and ask him/her to "cosponsor the Internet Radio
Equality Act, introduced by Representative Jay Inslee."
Once listeners click the "Call Your Representatives" button on the site
and enter their zip code, they are given their Representative's House
office phone number and a list of "talking points" to emphasize.