Thursday, April 19, 2007

Save Internet Radio

I don't usually post things like this, but...

Save Internet Radio Petition

Recent legislation has nearly tripled royalty fees for streaming Internet radio stations such as Pandora and, which could be the death of this industry as the fees prevent them from sustaining a viable business.

Signing the above petition sends a customizable email to your political representatives expressing your objection to this ruling.

Special bonus on topic UI coolness:

Love how filling out the "Your Name" box in the signature section of the petition auto parses and populates the first name/last name boxes on the right hand side. Brilliant, elegant simplicity at its best.


BoRyan said...

I did my part and signed.

Jake of All Trades said...

Here's the response I got from Senator Feinstein:

Thank you for writing to me with your concerns about the Copyright Royalty Board's recent decision on the statutory rate for music webcasting. I understand your concerns and appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Under the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004, Congress - at the behest of webcasters - created the Copyright Royalty Board which consists of three judges. By law, the judges are a venue of last resort and are required to periodically set rates for various statutory copyright licenses in the event that webcasters and copyright owners are unable to reach voluntary agreements. In the absence of an agreement, the judges set a rate designed to approximate the fair-market value that webcasters should pay to artists and performers for streaming their music for the years 2006-2010. The new rate that was established is less than a 5 percent increase of the rate in effect from 1998-2005.

Although a few webcasters have recently claimed that the process was unfair, it was not arbitrary and allowed representatives from all sides to make their cases. The judges began the proceedings in 2005, and heard testimony from dozens of witnesses and conducted a comprehensive review of tens of thousands of pages of evidence submitted by all interested parties over an 18-month period.

While some webcasters may choose to pay this rate, independent negotiations between the parties are still possible and this new statutory rate would serve as the ceiling. Additionally, if it appears that the new rate will reduce the overall amount of webcasting - as well as the overall income from this stream of revenue - the copyright owners may still have an incentive to offer webcasters a rate less than the statutory rate.

I am a strong believer in intellectual property rights and believe that artists and performers have earned the right to be fairly compensated for the broadcast of their works by webcasters who benefit - financially and otherwise - from their talents. Without fair compensation, these artists would not create their works.

Once again, thank you for writing. Should legislation addressing this new rate or the rate-setting process come before the Senate, I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind. In the meantime, if you should have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, DC staff at (202) 224-3841.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator