View Full Version : Emergency Action Needed! - Save Net Radio!!

2007-07-12, 10:45

The US court of appeals denied Net Radio's emergency stay today. That means that the new rates will hit webcasters this Monday. Many of them will likely be put out of business immediately or soon after.

Please please follow the link below and call your Congressmen and Senators today. Their direct intervention is required to stave off disaster!


News article:

2007-07-13, 11:37
Reading the latest news about the CRB and Internet Radio rates, I'm struck by the royalty formula
"Webcasting royalty payments for Jan. 1, 2006, to July 1, 2007, due under the new scheme would total $.000762 times the number of songs played per listener...
The per-listener rates would rise to $0.0019 per song by 2010. "

How is "per listener" calculated, especially for stations that don't require login accounts? If I have 2 or more Squeezeboxes playing the same Internet Radio stream, each is, as I understand it, making its own HTTP connection to the server. Would that therefore counted as 2 or more listeners? Should HTTP streams be processed through Slimserver so that a single HTTP connection to the Internet Radio source could be utilized -- reducing my bandwidth and broadcasters' royalty payments?


2007-07-13, 11:39
Synced players on radio stations automatically proxy the stream through SlimServer. While on SN, each player will make a separate HTTP connection to the audio server.

There is some good news today though: http://blog.wired.com/music/

2007-07-13, 11:59
Thanks, Andy, that's good to know about the architecture.

The business/political news is somewhat encouraging, but it seems more encouraging for mid/large outfits like Pandora and Live365, and less encouraging for small outfits like Folk Alley and Twang City.

We need to keep calling our legislators!


2007-07-13, 17:48
OK scratch that...

SoundExchange is still evil:


Make sure to call your congressional reps!

Mike Anderson
2007-07-13, 18:23
Question: Who can we boycott to protest this situation?

Dollars are the only arguments these people understand. Threaten them with a loss of sales, and maybe they'll start behaving reasonably.

2007-07-14, 01:10
But Mike, by the time the pain is noticed by the big boys in their balance sheet months later, it will be too late for many of these stations who won't be able to sustain themselves even for weeks - certainly not months.

Also, it seems there's nothing we can do to help from this side of the pond. Anybody know different?

2007-07-15, 23:15
Question: Who can we boycott to protest this situation?

The federal government? This is mostly a legislative / US Copyright Office issue.

2007-07-16, 02:07
Looks like net radio gets to live another day

Paul Webster
2007-07-16, 04:53
See the postings from a bit earlier to see that the respite offered was not wildly appreciated by all of the USA webcasters.

In all of the various discussions - I have not seen anyone try to compare how things are in different countries.
As an example - the official rates for a UK webcaster playing tracks to UK only listeners (not simulcasting with FM etc) are:
12% of gross revenue (currently discounted to 5%) (or 100-200GBP for a small webcaster with less than 3000GBP per annum revenue)
GBP 0.000538 per track per listener (stream)

If you take the current exchange rate of 2 USD = 1 GBP then you will see that the UK rates (which have been in force for around 2 years) are something similar to the rates that the USA is proposing to grow to over coming years.

My guess is that most small broadcasters do not pay anything except their raw streaming costs.
I am involved with a very small (UK-based) internet radio station - and we do pay our fees but if we became very popular then it would be too expensive to keep running. In fact - with the stuff that we play there is not much chance of being swamped ;)

2007-07-16, 05:11
Looks like net radio gets to live another day

I don't read it that way.

First, the main concession is the "per-channel" fee that tended to hurt individualized oferings like Pandora a bunch, and didn't hurt more traditional broadcasters so much -- coughing up another $42 per month probably wasn't going to put bigger operations like SomaFM out of business, though it sure could hurt Live365's amateur stations.

Second, the retroactive rates haven't changed. "Back taxes" could clobber a lot of nonprofit stations.

Third, some reports I've seen suggest that the royalty cops (SoundExchange) now are only offering to hold off enforcement for the stations that are participating in this round of negotiations. I expect a large number of small stations simply aren't "at the table" with SoundExchange right now because they don't have the (relatively) deep pockets of Pandora and Live365, and can't fly in to DC to plea their case.

It seems -- and perhaps this isn't surprising given how Michael Powell's FCC handled the terrestrial broadcast consolidation issue -- that the system is tilting in favor of the bigger businesses and squeezing out the small players -- even in this "good" news. And I think that's bad for the arts.

The way I read this, it'd be a good idea for us US citizens to keep pressing our legislators.


Mike Anderson
2007-07-16, 18:32
The federal government? This is mostly a legislative / US Copyright Office issue.

I had the impression the rise in rates was something private parties had lobbied for (e.g. Sound Exchange, large record companies and labels).