Monday, April 23, 2007

Save Internet Radio

I don't even know what to say. I can't believe this country. As soon as something good comes along there is this mad dash to squash it. At this point, it looks like the only thing left to do is to send a letter to your congressmen to stop this from happening.

A statement from The SaveNetRadio Coalition:

The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. The Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC has more than tripled the royalty rates for webcasters and left unchanged they will kill Internet radio. These exorbitant rates go into effect on May 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). Without Congressional action the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. We need your help. Please take a moment to send a letter to your member of Congress to keep Net radio from being silenced.

Since Clear Channel is one of the members of the coalition, it seems unlike that this is really about money. This most certainly can't be about the musicians, they don't want this either (besides when has government gave a damn about them?) So what could this change in the copyrights laws be about?

I suspect there is something more duplicitous going on here. I think that "the powers that be" want to end all uncontrolled means of communication in the US. DJ's on the Internet are independent and can say what they want. They have been developing large followings which makes them powerful. So far they have only used their power for playing music, but there is always the possibility that one day they may say something. They are not like bloggers (any idiot — including me — can put up a blog) but very few people read them. No following, no problem. But I wouldn't be suprised to see some effort to silence the large bloggers soon.

This is similar to being used by Latino kids to communicate for immigration rights. No one saw that coming. (and Murdock quickly bought That was easy.) But all these independent DJ's can't be bought up like this. So change the copyright laws and put them out of business. It is the easiest way to silence them. Scarry shit, if I'm right.


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