Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Guess who's got me angry?

posted under , , , , , by Bloody Bonnie |

Close. In the New York Times yesterday, there was an article about how the new fees proposed by the Dark Lord…I mean…the RIAA and imposed by the Copyright Royalty Board could spell the end of independent streaming radio. This is an issue that I touched lightly upon in my first blog entry, but I would like to elaborate a little bit more.

You see, internet radio stations were already paying homage to the Dark Lord in the form of royalty fees for songs. In fact, they were paying even more than regular stations. A law passed in 1995 states that “companies that transmit music using the Internet, cable or satellite must compensate both” the owners of the recording (the label) as well as the performer – while regular radio stations do not have to pay to use recordings.

As if this wasn’t unfair enough, a new law was recently passed stating that streaming internet radio stations must sacrifice a fee for each performance of a song - where a ‘performance” is considered one song heard by one listener. So these stations will be charged for each and every listener they have. To make matters worse, these fees are being charged retroactively back to the beginning of 2006! The Dark Lord is truly cunning.

Why do I care so much about this? Well, for starters, I’m a DJ for Denison University’s radio station – and we are streaming online at www.wdub.org (shameless plug). I am fairly certain that these new fees would cause us to lose our streaming capabilities (which we’ve only just had for a few years). But moreover, I enjoy being able to listen to streaming radio. It is a great way to discover some new music, rather than spinning through your same music collection over and over again.

It makes me really angry that there are a bunch of greedy old fogies out there attempting to control a technology that they don’t even understand! This is a direct quote from the New York Times: “At one point in the proceedings, according to the transcript, one member asked if the term “albums” could refer to CDs as well as vinyl records.” These are the coots who claim that they know what is best for the industry! Clearly these guys are in touch with the pulse of the future. They are obviously the ones who should be directing how new technologies are used.

So the moral of the story is: contact your representatives, senators and various overlords. Tell them to save internet radio. Boycott the RIAA. And be sure to tune into “Punks n’ Paddies” on Saturday nights 11:30pm-2:00am for a blend of Celtic and Punk rock that’s sure to get your freak flag waving (yep, another shameless plug).

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