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Proposed law may save net radio

Proposed law may save net radio

"Want money? Go actually earn it." -- The US Congress may put a law into effect negating the upcoming rate hike.

The fate of Internet radio has been getting a lot of press lately. If you've somehow missed the news, some clever price hikes by the RIAA are set to go into effect in mid-May. These hikes could have a couple of motivations, but one thing is for sure -- they are designed to bankrupt the nascent industry.

Or, maybe not, thanks to the US Congress. Who said politicians never listen?

The US House of Representatives received a proposed bill on Thursday afternoon that would block the new hikes. Tentatively dubbed the Internet Radio Equality Act, the bill's sole purpose is to intervene in the Copyright Royalty Board's recent decision to approve the tremendous increases. It replaces the outrageous increases with a flat 7.5% of profits, similar to the current model.

The bill was sponsored by one Republican and one Democrat, and has already received some pretty overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. "The Internet has provided us with amazing opportunities to enjoy music, and this unfair action by the CRB threatens to take it all away," said Robert Mazullo, one of the bill's sponsors. "Our legislation overturns the huge rate increases and sets up a system that is fair to Web-casters, Web users and the artists whose music we all enjoy. And most importantly, it will keep music playing on the Internet."

Before the bill can be made into a law and effectively block the increase, it will need to pass both the House and the Senate, and then signed by the President. Whether the bill will have enough time to complete its path before May 15th could mean the difference between success and failure.

Though the RIAA is a US organization, it has a lot of political ties that can easily expand borders and the copyright rules proposed will affect all stations. Those who refuse to pay the increase may not be subject to immediate reprisal if they aren't in the US, but pressure in the right places governmentally could easily change the rules of the game. Hopefully, the bill will prevent this from ever being possible.

Do you have a thought on the proposal? Tell us about it in our forums.

10 Comments

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Cuban 30th April 2007, 10:10 Quote
hope this works, a lot of the net stations i listen to are us based.
airchie 30th April 2007, 11:06 Quote
I hope it goes through before mid-may, otherwise it may be pointless.

In your face RIAA!! :D
Delphium 30th April 2007, 12:34 Quote
I for sure hope it passes, I listen to a few US based radio stations online, most of which are driven by donations from listeners, mearly to keep the servers running so that we may enjoy the services.

If the bill was not to be passed I feel that a lot of online only stations will drop like a lead ballon, of which we would have the RIAA to thank for improving??!? sorry destroying!!! the media industry for many more of us around the world, outside of the US!.

/rant off.
perplekks45 30th April 2007, 13:41 Quote
Hopefully it'll pass. But what next for RIAA? Taxes on music used in videos on YouTube? Taxes for listening to your .mp3s on your own mp3 player above a certain dB level as anybody might be able to listen to it too while sitting next to you on the bus? I'm amazed what ideas those guys pull out of their hats. Innovative. :)
airchie 30th April 2007, 14:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by aon`aTv.gsus666
I'm amazed what ideas those guys pull out of their hats. Innovative. :)
So true.
If only they would use that innovation to think of new ways to get the masses the songs they want, the way they want for a reasonable price.

At least then everyone wouldn't hate them. As much. Maybe. :D
devdevil85 30th April 2007, 17:26 Quote
And they wonder why so many people are Bit-torrenting.....

'Word-of-mouth' is the best marketing tool and it spreads quicker than wildfire. The only way to do this is to cut song prices in half in order to get a wider consumer base and then let the talking go from there. Seriously!, I would pay $0.30 for a song w/o DRM (along with 90% of the world), but that's it. Even $0.79 WITH DRM is ridiculous!

Internet Radio is the best, most affordable method for advertisng new songs which woudl give artists the ability to sell songs that otherwise wouldn't hit the radio, which would in turn profit companies under the RIAA. Internet Radio is a win-win in my opinion.
pendragon 30th April 2007, 19:31 Quote
boy I hope this gets passed
The Bodger 30th April 2007, 19:57 Quote
I've been listening to web radio for a while now, and many of the stations I enjoy most are based in the US and face closure due to this legislation. Fingers crossed that nobody from the RIAA or CRB etc tries to slow congress down in overturning the new fees. I took a look at the http://www.savenetradio.org/ website the other day, and noticed that there's not really any way for people oustide the USA to have their voices heard; does anyone know how people outside the USA can show their support?
LVMike 30th April 2007, 20:47 Quote
i wrote to my reps and senators, ( Harry Reid actually responded) i think it may pass
Mr T 30th April 2007, 22:58 Quote
A life without DI.fm wont be worth living :( Long live internet radio.

If this new law comes to place all its going to do is force internet radio down the same road as bittorrent etc. Using servers in countries that dont give a crap about copywrite law.
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