Today many webcasters, such as L.A.â€™s KCRW and its website KCRW.com, are joining together for a Day of Silence.Â Stations and internet-radio sites will shut down regular programming as a protest against the new high music royalties to be enforced upon internet radio.Â KCRW will produce a one-hour program â€œD-Day for Webcastersâ€ featuring Pandora, Live365, Yahoo, AccuRadio, SomaFM, indie webcaster BAGeL Radio and public radio station WAMU/Washington, DC.Â KCRW GM Ruth Seymour will moderate, as participants describe the effects that the new rates will have on their ability to stream and to serve audiences online.
â€œDuring the Day of Silence, webcasters will urge their listeners to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to support the Internet Radio Equality Act and preserve the future of Internet radio," said Jake Ward, spokesman for the recently-created SaveNetRadio Coalition.Â The Act remains far from passage weeks ahead of the royalty deadline. The increased rates, approved by the Copyright Royalty Board, go into effect for U.S.-based broadcasters July 15.Â If none of these tactics succeed, webcasters will be required to send checks to Sound Exchange, the collection agency for the record companies and the artists, on July 15, with rates retroactive to last year; therefore putting websites that provide free music for listening out of business quick.
Nevertheless, a number of prominent online broadcasters have chosen not to participate, including AOL Radio, Clear Channel and Last.fm. Larger broadcasters face a less serious financial impact from the rate changes, though at least one holdout, Last.fm co-founder Felix Miller insists: "It's in no one's interest to let online radio die, but people want to make money from their music. And we want to pay artists for the music we play."
I would love to know what you think about this.Â These webcasters offer free music to listen to, not to download.Â Do you think that internet radio stations that stream music to the listener for free should be forced to pay these high royalties on every song listened to?Â Should they have to pay retroactive royalties for every song listened to in the past year?Â