We interrupt this blog to let you know that we stand with the many internet radio stations that will observe a national Day of Silence today. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15, 2007 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006 – what the heck is up with THAT??). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. Internet radio stations currently pay a fee based on revenues, something that works very well for an industry that is just getting started.
You may wonder “How does this relate to Leelanau … or even Leelanau.com?” Aside from the fact that we often listen to internet radio for music that just isn’t played on radio stations in the area, there’s also a degree of solidarity and self interest at work. The internet has been built upon the philosophy of free exchange of information. While actions like this, current suits against YouTube and attacks on net neutrality are predicated on protection of copyright holders, they also have the effect of making it fantastically more difficult to share creative commons content by attacking the networks over which it is shared. When you see that major media outlets are behind most of these laws and legal actions well … you kind of wonder.
Anyway, please take a moment to contact your representatives and tell them that you support the Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House and Senate to save the Internet radio industry.
Much more information at the SaveNetRadio Coalition web site.