Save Internet radio!

Tell Your Legislators:
Internet music may soon fall silent.

A new rule concerning a massive increase in fees paid by Internet radio webcasters could force thousands of independent and noncommercial Internet radio operators off the Web. The ruling will go into effect on July 15 unless we act now and urge Congress to rescue Internet radio:

After intense lobbying from the recording industry, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) ignored a massive public outcry and ruled to dramatically increase the rates webcasters must pay every time they stream a song.

These draconian rules will shut down many noncommercial and independent Internet radio outlets, leaving the Web with the same cookie-cutter music formats that have destroyed commercial broadcast radio.

Independent musicians, independent labels, webcasters, media reformers and thousands of Internet radio listeners have joined forces with members of Congress to reverse this bad decision. The bipartisan “Internet Radio Equality Act of 2007” has been introduced in the House by Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) and in the Senate by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). The legislation would reverse the CRB decision in favor of a balanced structure that supports artists without putting webcasters out of business.

Musicians must be compensated for their work. But the new regulations would silence many outlets that play independent artists and musical genres that just can’t be found on the radio dial. And nonprofit NPR, Pacifica and community radio stations would be forced to take down most of their online musical programming for fear of unmanageable royalty fees.

The bills introduced in the House and Senate would allow artists and musicians to thrive on Internet radio. Help pass the “Internet Radio Equality Act of 2007” by telling all your friends to take action now:
Industry-wide consolidation has destroyed musical diversity on commercial broadcast radio. We must not let this happen to the Internet.

Frannie Wellings
Associate Policy Director
Free Press
P.S. Support our fight in Congress to rescue Internet radio. Donate to the Free Press Action Fund.

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