Internet radio, including such great resources as SomaFM, Pandora and Last.fm, is once again in jeopardy with the threat of ridiculously high music royalty fees.
SomaFM founder Rusty Hodge has posted a detailed explanation of the situation.
The good news is that a new bill, “Internet Radio Equality Act” has been introduced by Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL) that may help to save internet radio. See SomaFM’s urgent call to action for more information.
A bill has been introduced that will save independent internet radio by setting these royalties at the same level paid by satellite radio services, a reasonable amount (7.5% of gross revenues) which will benefit the artists as well as not bankrupt net radio stations. Call your Representative right now and ask to cosponsor the “Internet Radio Equality Act”, just introduced by Representative Jay Inslee. This bill will set royalty rates that internet radio pays to the same reasonable level that satellite radio pays.
The SaveNetRadio Coalition and Live365 have more information and resources on how you can help with this fight.
Here’s more coverage of the internet radio crisis:
– RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter
UPDATE: Live365 is reporting that the payment deadline has been pushed back to July 15th, 2007, which buys some more time in the fight to Save Internet Radio.