Hurt Squirrels
Do Me A Favor, Will You?
5/1/2002 11:31 AM
I can't listen to my favorite radio station over the Internet today.

Internet radio broadcasters across the country have shut down today in a show of solidarity against CARP, the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel. This proposal goes to the Librarian of Congress on May 21st and could effectively destroy Internet radio if it passes. Basically, it proposes that Internet radio broadcasters pay ridiculously high royalties on top of royalties they're already paying. These extra charges would be per song and per listener. At first glance, the charges seem minimal. They're not.

Let's do some math. The per song rate is $.0007. Not that much, eh? Now let's take the per listener rate of $.0014 and multiply it by...oh, let's say 100 listeners. That gives us $0.14. Whoops, let's not forget the $.0007! Now, take that $0.1407 and multiply it by 15, an average number of songs played in an hour. That's $2.1105, meaning an average 24 day would total $50.652. Yipes! And that's just with 100 listeners. A station with more listeners would pay more.

Now, I don't know a lot about running a radio station, but that seems counter-intuitive. I believe most radio stations want as many listeners as they can get. This system doesn't seem to encourage that. Thinking like a manager (God help me) it would seem that the best thing for the bottom line is to just shut down the Internet broadcasting. For those of you keeping score at home, that's a Bad Thing.

I urge you to visit Save Internet Not only can they explain things much better than I did, but they also point out ways you can help. Write a letter to your Congress-people. They have pre-written letters, as well as a link to help you find the address of you Congressional representatives. It's damn easy.

Help me out so I only have to suffer in silence today.

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