Monday, July 16, 2007

Internet Radio still lives

For those who have been listening to internet radio over the past few months (as I have), there is very good news. The legislation to increase royalties for internet radio and (less so for) satellite radio has been suspended for as long as the internet radio stations wish to keep negotiating. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a bit of history.

A group in Congress known as the Internet Copyright Royalty Board, introduced a bill that at would go into effect on May 15, 2007 and establish higher royalties for internet and satellite radio (but not for traditional air radio). Of course, this is really unfair. The internet radio companies got together and urged their listeners to contact their members of Congress and push back the deadline to July 15. Turnout went really well, and the deadlines were extended. Now, over the last month, there has been another campaign to push the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would introduce rights to Internet Radio stations so that they would not be put under unfair discrimination, such as with the previous bill. Apparently, Internet Radio listeners have been dedicated enough to contact their congresspeople again. And luckily, they've been able to persuade Congress to extend the deadline indefinitely as long as internet radio stations are open to negotiate the terms.

Now, before you start thinking this might be another illegal pirated thing. Internet radio has been fairly dedicated to paying their fair share in royalties. They function as a platform for the ordinary people to play their own music to a very wide audience. I think that they should pay the same amount as other media, and should not be discriminated against for being novel and different.

No comments: