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Will Net Radio Survive?

If you listen to much internet radio, you may want to help save it.

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This is Leo Notenboom for

On July 15th, many streaming audio sites on the internet will likely close

The problem? The Copyright Royalty Board, the group which handles setting
and collecting recording royalties, increased the amount that Internet radio
stations must pay by at least a factor of 3.

The bottom line is simple: many, if not most, independant internet radio
and streaming audio stations simply cannot afford the higher payments. They’ll
have to turn off the music.

There’s at least an issue of fairness as you might expect. Apparently
internet radio has already been paying twice what satellite radio does for the
same content.

But there’s also a concern for control. One school of thought is that music
labels will make deals for those stations willing to allow the label to control
the content. The whole concept of “independant” internet radio would just
disappear. Instead, we’d be faced with what we have on most commercial radio
today: the same music, the same songs, the same artists, over and over and over

So, what can we do?

The Save Net Radio
coalition has organized to coordinate an effort to get U.S. Lawmakers to
address the issue in Washington. They’re urging everyone to contact their
senators and representatives to express their support for bills overturning the
new rates.

In some of the many articles I’ve seen on the topic, I’ve heard it referred
to as the music industry trying to sue its way into profitability. Just as with
draconian anti-piracy approaches, the industry seems to be bent on using rules
and regulations, threats and lawsuits, to their own benefit before actually
considering their customers.

In my opinion it’s a losing battle for both sides. I’m in no way advocating
piracy, but if strong arming your customers is the only way you can think of to
promote your product, it seems like an increase in piracy might be an
inevitable result.

In the mean time honest consumers and musicians lose. Consumers lose choice,
and musicians lose yet another venue.

And all the while we get to listen to the music industries pop-star du jour
over and over and over…

Go visit and find out how you can help.

I’d love to hear what you think. Visit and enter 11615 in the go
to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me
a comment. While you’re there, browse over 1,200 technical questions and
answers on the site.

Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for

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