Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Death By a Thousand Cuts

The ongoing battle between the fledgling Internet Radio industry and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)continues at a snail's pace. I try to keep those of you who stop by this journal updated on the most recent developments.

But the RIAA is incredibly clever. They realize, correctly I fear, that if they drag this out long enough, the public will simply lose interest. The pressure on Congress will decrease and bigger issues will eclipse the plight of a few thousand broadcasters and a few million listeners.

Congress has twice been ready to act. House Bill 2060 has over 130 co-sponsors. And the Senate Bill has powerful backers. As each of the two previous deadlines approached Sound Exchange, the royalty collection arm of the RIAA, promised huge concessions in front of Congressional Committees only to pull them back and attach bizarre conditions to any settlement.

Many Members of Congress are aware of this bate and switch. But the process drags on into the fall and Internet Radio may finally breath its last, to be replaced by an RIAA controlled pay-per-listen model limited to the comparatively few artists and musicians signed with RCA, Columbia, Sony and the other big players. And even these artists will receive nothing for their performances.

Today I ask you follow these links and read two excellent and impartial articles about the current battle. First is
Sounds of silence: Internet radio hangs on from The Seattle Times and the second is Webcasting Royalties: A Modest Proposal from WIRED Magazine.

Please drop a note, letter email or phone call to your Congressperson and your two Senators. Otherwise Internet Radio will die a slow and agonizing death.



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1 comment:

Vigilante said...

I wish I had time to investigate Internet Radio, Wizard. I really do. The only time I use radio is when I'm at work and bandwith restrictions prohibit I.R. or when I am sleeping, driving, etc. Don't like to write with any background distractions. Could be I'm missing out on something big. I trust your judgment on this. If I could only retire.......