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Internet Radio "Reprieve" Like A Stay of Execution

July 14, 2007

It's difficult for me to perceive yesterday'sresults of negotiations between Sound Exchange and representatives of Internet radio as anything but a stay of execution.

Backgrounder: royalty rates on Internet radio were supposed to rise to a level tomorrow (Sunday) that would have been 300% to 1200% higher than previously owed before. But now, in their infinite generosity, the cabal of music labels that form Sound Exchange have agreed to cap annual royalty fees at $50,000.

Well woo hoo on that. Thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars a year is an onerous burden for many if not most Internet radio-only broadcasters to fork up. So to paraphrase "American Pie," Monday might not be the day the (Internet radio) music died, but really got sick.

The SaveNetRadio coalition knows this. Friday morning, they sent out emails urging Internet radio listeners to lobby their Senators to get the Internet Radio Equality Act out of the Judiciary Committee. The bill would nullify the U.S. Copyright Board's decision that would nullify the CRB's March 2007ruling. The ruling that sparked the Internet royalty rate hike to begin with. 

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