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Oh no! All independant radio stations are in trouble!

http://www.radioparadise.com/

The US Copyright Office has released their new set of rates for the payment of royalties by Internet Radio, and they ignored all of the facts presented by webcasters (including RP) and gave the record industry exactly what they asked for: royalty rates so high that they will put RP and every other independent webcaster out of business. See Kurt Hanson's newsletter for 3/2/07 for the details on how the rates work and what they will mean to stations like RP. You can participate in the discussion about this issue in our Listener Forum.

For some time, we've suffered with a system where we pay a large chunk (10%-12%) of our income to the Big 5 record companies - while FM stations and radio conglomerates like Clear Channel pay nothing. Now they want even more. In our case, an amount equal to 125% of our income. Our only hope is to create as much public awareness and outrage about this staggeringly unfair situation as possible. Neither the record industry nor Congress are ready to listen to us at this point. But members of the media may well be, and we need to get their attention.

If you have a blog, write about it. Feel free to quote anything I've written in the Listener Forum. If you find a good blog post about the subject, Digg it or Slashdot it. If you work for a media outlet, look over the facts of the situation and see if you don't feel the same sense of outrage that we do. Write a letter to the editor of your favorite magazine or newspaper. Let everyone you can know what a loss it would be to you personally if your favorite Internet radio stations, including RP, were no longer available.

The RIAA can, at any time, agree to strike a deal with independent webcasters to allow us to pay a more realistic royalty, one based on a percentage of our income. We're hoping that if all of you make enough noise they'll be more inclined to do so. We'd also like to hope that at least one member of Congress will take a look at this situation and become willing to propose ammendments to the deeply flawed 1990s pieces of legislation that are responsible for the unfair treatment of Internet radio.

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May 2009

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