bad news so far:
LINKS TO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN ARE AT THE ABOVE LINK.
UPDATE - July 12, 2007:
The U.S. District Court of Appeals has denied the request for an emergency stay of station royalty payments as proposed by the Copyright Royalty Board. Unless Congress passes the Internet Radio Equality Act (IREA), the new higher royalty rates will go into effect. These rates are 150 percent higher than rates paid in 2005. The Internet Radio Equality Act would set a 2006-2010 royalty rate at the same level currently paid by satellite radio services, which is 7.5 percent of revenues. The decision now rests in the hands of Congress, which received more than 500,000 messages urging its members to pass the Internet Radio Equality Act.
More details will be posted here on our website as information becomes available.
Why are the Board’s recommendations inappropriate for public radio?
An element of public radio's mission, whether by broadcast or webcast, is to introduce music and musical performers to the largest possible audience. Under the CRB decision, however, the more public radio succeeds in that mission, the larger the fees become. Practically and financially speaking, the newly proposed fee structure penalizes public radio for performing its statutorily-based public service mission.
What is being done?
The Internet Radio Equality Act has been introduced in both the House (H.R. 2060) and Senate (S. 1353) to nullify the CRB’s decision and recognize the mission of public radio to provide diverse programming.
What can you do?
Contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. Their co-sponsorship of the bill will ensure WFPK will continue to provide the best in non-commercial music on the web. Contact them today:
Use this sample letter to fax to your representative. Here are some talking points for your phone call to your representative:
I am a constituent and I’m calling to ask Congressman/woman ________ to save Internet radio by co-sponsoring the Internet Radio Equality Act.
The Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase royalty rates for webcasters is going to turn off my Internet radio and I do NOT want that to happen. Please co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.
I believe that artists should be fairly compensated for the music they make, but putting my webcasters out of business will only hurt artists more. They depend on Internet radio to get their music out to fans and build new audiences. When the webcasters go off the air, so do artists. Please co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.
Internet radio is one of the only bright spots for independent music and diversity. We NEED Internet radio. Don’t turn it off. Co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.
(If you are an artist) Internet radio enables artists like myself to reach fans throughout the country and enjoy exposure and airplay that we may otherwise have not received. I'm asking you to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.
We will continue to work with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio in their negotiations with the CRB to reach a fair agreement. Even with the support of our contributing listeners, the exorbitant costs to continue our online streams under the ruling by the CRB may force us to silence our online streams.
The decision by the CRB affects all public radio stations because it:
Eliminates the distinction between noncommercial and commercial media
Penalizes public radio for fulfilling its statutorily-mandated mission of bringing new, culturally enriching programming to the American public
Sets a chilling precedent for future rights discussions, negotiations and litigation that may undermine non-commercial public service programming
Who do I contact?
Contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. We will keep you up to date on this situation as we learn more.
Last edited by delmar (2007-07-12 17:08:29)