Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Recently I have read a number of stories about Net Radio going Dark for a Day. Not all of it, but according to the Globe and Mail at least 45 stations representing thousands of channels. The stations are protesting a ruling establishing royalty rates that will put most of them out of business on July 15. "The ruling... is expected to cost large webcasters such as Yahoo and Real Networks millions of dollars, drive smaller websites like Pandora.com and Live365.com out of business and leave a large chunk of the 72 million Net radio listeners in the dark." SaveNetRadio has a page where US residents can locate their senators and representatives to call them today. But where the hell is the "Amazing Radioman" when you need him? Maybe Michael Moore should focus his next film effort on this digital "de-evolution"... The whole idea of internet radio has such amazing potential and for this enterprise to face such a bureaucratic hurdle now will be its death knell.
In Canada, copyright payments are structured differently than its U.S. counterparts with tariffs and licenses. SOCAN has been developing a tariff system based on a percentage of gross revenues and two other groups, the Audio-Visual Licensing Agency and Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd., offer special license agreements with individual webcasters.
Perhaps the American internet broadcasters should move to Canada and like the pirate radio broadcasters in the UK in the late sixties and seventies enlighten an information and music "needy" public that way.
If you are out there "Radioman", America needs your help now.