Your Feedback: Save Internet Radio

Phillip

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There are some major, major changes going on that could dramatically eliminate most legal on-line radio stations (like Muppet Central Radio) from existence. A new approved proposal for the royalty rates began to break on March 2 and we’ve been following it as it develops. The rates will not only include a dramatic increase every year, but they are proactive for all of 2006 as well.

Internet radio plays by dramatically different rules than terrestrial (FM/AM radio). Here's a good example of why this ruling is unfair from Betanews....

AOL Radio may receive a bill for copyright holders' royalties retroactive to 2006 amounting to $23.7 million, payable to a collective representing the US recording industry. And assuming the service doesn't become more popular, it could find itself paying as much as $56.3 million in copyright royalties in 2010. This while the world's three major copyright holders' groups - ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC - collectively charge terrestrial broadcast radio stations $972 per year per station, for the rights to broadcast exactly the same music to an equivalent or larger audience.
Without getting too technical, I’m sure you are wondering, “What does this mean for Muppet Central Radio?” If the agreement goes through as proposed and assuming Live365 stays in business in some form, our broadcasting and royalty payments will go up exponentially. We want Muppet Central Radio to continue as we’ve been broadcasting for seven years and have survived through many changes in the industry. Regardless, I want to let everyone know that significant changes of some kind will likely be happening concerning Muppet Central Radio in the weeks and months ahead depending on the outcome of this ruling. I’ll keep you informed as the situation develops.

Live365 has put up this page on the developments…
http://www.live365.com/choice/

More information and how you can help is available here…
http://www.savethestreams.org/
 

Kimp the Shrimp

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You can negotiate individually with the royalty holders for your fees.
 

mikebennidict

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I've read about this elsewhere and I still don't get this.

Assuming they're just greedy, why do the courts even bother listening to these cases?
 

Ilikemuppets

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This is just kind of terrible. I hope things work out well in the end.
 

Luke

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This is bad news. I hope MC Radio continues on "as is" with all those hours of varied tunes but if changes did have to be made i hope it wouldn't cease to exist totally, even if there could be a half hour show made each week that people could stream off MC's servers that would maybe a chance to save it in some form.
 

Phillip

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Yes, Live365 has already said that if the ruling goes down as it is currently proposed then they will likely go out of business. I think a compromise of some kind may be reached but it will no doubt increase royalty fees over the rates we are currently paying. I'm exploring all of our options in terms of ways to keep radio going for as many free listeners as possible and how we can increase site revenue to keep MC Radio alive.
 

Luke

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I was looking at the Live365 site last night and saw they do offer a subscription where you arrange fees yourself. Obviously the officially released stuff on MC radio is probably treated royalty wise the same as any other commercial music release, but a lot of it on there has been taken from the shows themselves. I know there was some kind of permission before with Henson to be able to do this, and i'm not sure how things go with Muppet Studios but possibly you could get around these new fees by just using stuff directly from the broadcasts. Otherwise, if it does come down to the new fees applying i'd hope something could be done either with donations or sponsorship (i see you can run ad promos).

I still would think something will be done to stop all this going through, i can't see the justification in them wanting back payments since 2006 (i would have thought at 500 bucks a station that would put them out of business) and it seems to be just one of the royalty companies, and in the case of the Muppet stuff i'd be suprised if the money ever made it back to the people who it should do as they probably have to claim it.
 

stephenjlizard

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Sorry, I goofed and didn't see the sticky thread, and apparently there is little forgiveness for that. There is a lot of talk about this issue, and for those of you who listen to Adam Curry's "Daily Source Code" podcast, there is an interview featured today that talks about some of the legalities that go into this decision.

:smile:
 

Phillip

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Yes Steve, there appears to be some hope. Things are looking up on the Internet radio front. The following news began to break yesterday afternoon.

A new bill is before Congress that would require Internet radio to pay the same royalty rates as satellite radio. This proposed bill is significantly less than the CRB ruling on March 2. This bill now needs to be brought to Congress for a vote.

Ask your Congressman or Congresswoman to please co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act submitted by Congressman Jay Inslee and ask them to sign the book at the desk to get the bill brought to the floor for a vote before stations start going off the air on May 15th.

Click here to contact your Congressman…
http://www3.capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/callalert/index.tt?alertid=9679516&type=TA

Here’s more info on the Internet Radio Equality Act…

SaveNetRadio Applauds Congress’s Attempt to Save Internet Radio
The Internet Radio Equality Act Would Level the Playing Field for Webcasters

The SaveNetRadio coalition today applauded Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL) for introducing legislation that could save thousands of webcasters from bankruptcy. “The Internet Radio Equality Act” would reverse a
March 2nd ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that increased the fees webcasters pay to play music online by a stunning 300 to 1200 percent.

“Since the CRB’s March 2nd decision to dramatically and unfairly increase webcaster royalty rates, millions of Internet radio listeners, webcasters and artists have called on Congress to take action,” said Jake Ward of the SaveNetRadio coalition. “Today Congress took notice, and we thank Messrs. Inslee and Manzullo for leading the charge to save music diversity on the
Internet.”

The Internet Radio Equality Act would vacate the CRB’s decision and set a 2006-2010 royalty rate at the same level currently paid by satellite radio services (7.5% of revenue.) The bill would also change the royalty rate-setting standard used in royalty arbitrations, so that the standards applying to webcasters would align with the standard that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations.

“The illogical and unrealistic royalty rates set by the CRB have placed the future of an entire industry in jeopardy,” stated Ward. “This bill is a critical step to preserve this vibrant and growing medium, and to develop a truly level playing field where webcasters can compete with satellite radio. The Internet Radio Equality Act is the last best hope webcasters, artists, and listeners have to keep the music playing. I know New Orleans will be glad to hear it!”

SaveNetRadio, together with WWOZ, the official radio station of Jazz Fest 2007, is sponsoring the HOT 8 Jazz band in a live Internet concert during the New Orleans festival on May 2nd. The coalition is also educating Jazz Fest musicians about the possibility that Internet radio – an important medium for all musicians but independent musicians in particular – will all
but die on May 15 when the CRB royalty is scheduled to take effect.

The bill would also re-set the royalty rules for noncommercial radio such as NPR stations that offer Internet radio music.
 
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