Music/Popular Culture

Day of Silence for Net radio

Your favorite Internet radio station is probably dark today in observance of a nationwide day of silence.

Day of silence protest hits Net radio
– Stations battle royalty hike
By Cade Metz in San Francisco
Published Friday 22nd June 2007 23:16 GMTOn Tuesday, more than 10,000 U.S. web radio broadcasters will participate in a nationwide “day of silence”, canceling their usual programming in protest of an impending royalty hike that threatens to put most of them out of business.

Members of the SaveNetRadio coalition – including everyone from Yahoo! to WebRadioPugetSound – will either shut down their stations or broadcast public-service announcements urging listeners to support a repeal of the new royalty rates.

In March, the U.S. Copyright Royalty board laid down new rules that would require broadcasters to pay $0.0008 each time a song is played – retroactive to the beginning of 2006. According to Jake Ward, a spokesperson for SaveNetRadio, this amounts to a 300 per cent rate hike for even the largest stations. By 2010, the per-play rate is scheduled to hit $0.0019.

The first bill comes due on July 15, and as the date approaches, SaveNetRadio is battling the new rates in Congress. Next week’s day of silence is an effort to gain support for the coalition’s Internet Radio Equality Act. (Story.)

S&R has written about this before (Martin here and me here), and the short version is that the RIAA, big corporate radio and their hired government thugs are trying to shut down, well, everything except themselves. The new royalty rules are bad for independent artists, bad for music generally, bad for American culture, and unless you’re a label whore, bad for you.

Here’s hoping Congress can hear the silence loud and clear. For more on Internet radio, stay tuned to

5 replies »

  1. Well, this little trick of putting Internet radio out of business combined with the “allowable” merger of XM with Sirius (giving Clear Channel effective monopoly over that version of the medium) will pretty much insure that “corporate radio” will have hegemony over the air waves – and allow them to decide what music and information Americans hear….

  2. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” (1984, George Orwell)

    “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” (George Santayana)

  3. It just means that guys like us have to work harder to find it and help promote it, is all. The thing they don’t seem to get is this. They apparently think that if they stomp all the alternatives that we’ll have to buy their prefabricated crap. But that’s wrong. I think the market will respond by simply not buying. There will always be good music. If the labels want to opt out, let ’em.

  4. I’ve found many royalty free sites, and for that matter, sites promoting artists that want their music used in podcasts and other mediums. Getting into podcasts helps these artists sell their music, and they see that.

    If the tap is shut off by the guys making way too much, maybe we can all pay attention to artists who haven’t gotten too big for the masses. 🙂 Went to a great Blue Grass Festival this weekend, and the artists there sure weren’t shy about getting some podcast time on the internet.