With the Copyright Royalty Board’s denial of an appeal to its March 2, 2007 ruling, the new royalty rates for online broadcasters will take effect on May 15. And since the new rates apply retroactively to the start of 2006, this means the closure of most small, independent broadcasters who simply do not have the money to pay.
Have a look at details of the original ruling and the appeal denial. The $500 minimum per channel, regardless of the listener count, is pretty horrendous. It’s clear that only for-profit companies can afford to broadcast, and only then with copious commercial time. Thanks, CRB. The sort of personalized streaming channels offered by Pandora seems pretty difficult to sustain with this fee structure, so, thanks again, CRB, for curbing musical exploration and discovery of new artists. Clearly, they have the good of society in mind.
Perhaps it was only wishful thinking that gave us hope that the existing media industry would embrace the freedom and egalitarian content-generation-production-distribution that the internet is capable of. It’s time for a new music industry. It’s just that I don’t know of any music coalitions or consortiums that understand and embrace all that the internet enables. So if you are one, let all of us know so we can support you and your music.
Are there any channels of Creative Commons-licensed music? If so, I’d love to listen to them, and perhaps even serve them.
Anyway, please mark May 15, 2007 as the day that the traditional recording industry made internet radio suck. Of course, it could also mark the day that non-RIAA music began to dominate internet radio, and the day that people discovered the world of non-RIAA music.