THE DEATH OF INTERNET RADIO

The death of Internet radio is three weeks away. No fooling.

The recording industry collaborated with the media conglomerates that own virtually all conventional radio stations in the country to close down the Internet radio industry before it has a chance to develop into a true competitor. Congress and the Copyright Office jumped right in to help, under the auspices of the evil Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

The result is an order requiring Internet-only radio stations to pay exorbitant royalties. On May 21, Internet-only radio stations are required to pay twice the royalties for the music they Webcast as over-the-air stations pay – even if the latter have Internet feeds of their own. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Internet-only stations will have just weeks to pay retroactive royalties going back to 1998.

There is no Internet-only broadcaster capable of making those payments. No attempt was made to make the royalties equitable or reasonable. This is a shutdown order, pure and simple.

Here’s an article that summarizes the issues. This is such a blatant example of the rich screwing the poor – and the recording industry demonstrating its contempt for consumers yet again – that it deserves your attention. Visit a web site devoted to this issue – www.saveinternetradio.org – or contribute to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.