May 24, 2007

Save Internet Radio

Lots of chatter on the online radio waves about dramatically increased royalty rates for webcasters, due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!)

Of course, this would mean certain closure for many Internet radio web sites. The good news is that "the Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House (H.R. 2060) and Senate (S. 1353) to save the Internet radio industry. Please call your senators and your representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act..." (from Savenetradio)

Below is a letter that the founder of Pandora sent out recently:

Hi, it's Tim again,

I wanted to thank you again for your extraordinary support in the fight to save Internet radio and Pandora. Thanks to the overwhelming number of calls you made, letters you faxed, and emails you sent, the Internet Radio Equality Act is fast gaining momentum in the House of Representatives (74 sponsors and growing). It's nothing short of remarkable for this to happen in such a brief period of time - almost unprecedented.

On Friday, May 11th, a Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) (pdf version). This is a promising development, but we need your help again. I know we're asking a lot, but the stakes couldn't be higher and the fight is not over.

Please call the offices of your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act, S. 1353. ...

Visit Savenetradio to keep up on our fight to save Internet radio. There are some powerful testimonials there from musicians who have found their audience through Internet radio.

We are deeply moved by your support. Thank you.
-Tim Westergren, (Pandora founder)

Note that these price hikes will also affect public radio broadcasting over the Internet; see what Jon Gordon from APM's Future Tense says on his Wavelength blog post NPR goes public in fight to save Internet broadcasting.

********** What can I do?? you ask ...
Send an email to your congresspeople; the folks at NPR have made this incredibly easy at Tell Them Public Matters. Enter your name & full address and they'll send a supportive email to YOUR two senators & one representative. Couldn't be easier -- unless you want to add a personal note about the public radio stations you listen to online.

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