Diversity Threatened By Institutional Greed

I went to stream some indie rock on WOXY this morning, but none came through.
Today is a The Day of Silence, an international protest against exorbitant royalty rates that threaten the existence of all but the most well funded webcasters.
The Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House and Senate to save the Internet radio industry. Webcasters are hoping The Day of Silence will encourage U.S. citizens to phone their senators and representative to ask them to co-sponsor the bill.
Marc Fisher of The Washington Post explains how the Copyright Royalty Board (part of Library of Congress) went wrong.

Why is the government doing this? Largely because the recording industry wants to stuff the genie back in the bottle and roll back the extraordinary blossoming of music programming available on the web. But the record industry isn’t the only player here. The broadcast radio industry is clinging to its structural advantage over webradio: AM and FM radio stations must pay only one form of royalties–to composers of a given song–while webcasters must pay that royalty and an additional one to the performers of the tune.
Will webradio really die, or suffer a serious setback? It seems hard to believe, given that the web is one of the few bright spots in a generally dismal season for the recording and music industries.

Emerging and niche artists often find a substantial audience on internet radio. The recording industry is doing them no favors here. Not that that’s a surprise. The mainstream recording industry has become a real bitch, of late.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.