Net Radio Stations Go Silent

Dozens of Internet radio stations will go silent today in protest of the royalty rate hike in the U.S.  I covered some of the Canadian implications last spring.


  1. Crosbie Fitch says:

    Opt out
    Here’s the solution for Pandora et al:

    Create several services
    1) Free: uses only copyleft music from musicians who’ve opted out of compulsory licensing – no payola
    2) Paid: Subscription fee proportional to actual costs (webcasting rates, etc.) – no payola
    3) Free+Payola: contains all the free music and payola funded non-free music
    4) Paid+Payola: Everything, but slightly cheaper subscription
    5) Ad funded: No subscription, but music pro rata

    Given such a choice, as a listener, I think I’d stick to option 1.

    Which to my mind means that webcasting rates are doomed.

    Pass the costs on to the listener and they’ll soon tell you which music they prefer.

  2. Not quite…
    [1) Free: uses only copyleft music from musicians who’ve opted out of compulsory licensing – no payola]

    I’ve already tried suggesting that on another board. Would you believe that the RIAA *can* and *will* charge artists to which they are not even related with for playing on Internet radio? Really, it’s true.

    Yes, I know it’s total BS and the RIAA are a bunch of despicable, stalking, capitalist pigs with a giant cigar.

    That’s the power of money in politics.

  3. Not Doing Enough…
    Back on topic now, I’m a bit disappointed with some stations’ advertising on this. It’s obvious enough.

    I’m a web developer, so I understand that USERS ARE DUMB. Many of these radio stations don’t appear to be grasping this. For example, Live365, arguably one of the most popular online radio stations, has a neat flash intro that says “Day of Silence”. Well, that’s nice, *I* know why it is, but no one who doesn’t keep up with the intersection of politics, law and technology will (eg.: my dad, who is a regular Live365 listener). Sure if you click it, you’ll be brought to a page that sort of explains the reason for the outage, but no one who doesn’t know about the whole situation in the first place will understand a blind word they’re on about.

    What’s more, when you select to listen to a station, you should be seeing in bright, bold letters: IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ… and then go on to dumb down as much as possible why they are not playing any radio today. Instead, they have a little link in the corner to and a ‘Day of Silence’ link in another corner — completely unobvious.

    The result? This will fall on deaf ears and those of which are attached to heads of people who are already very aware of the situation.

    I was wrong: I’m not a bit disappointed, I’m very disappointed. This isn’t raising awareness of the problem, you’re just not making any money today. What a shame.