Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sounds of Silence

This morning at the lab, sounds of cussing were in the air. People were at their computers trying to get their streaming radio music. They went to their favorite web site and there was no music. A number of these web sites were observing a "day of silence". The problem?
A swath of the Internet is set to go silent tomorrow, as online music broadcasters shut down to protest a plan that will sharply increase the royalties they pay to recording companies and musicians.

It seems that the Copyright Royalty Board wants to change the way it raises royalties. Currently royalties are collected from a per-song rate and the new increase will be a per-listener rate. Radio sites would be charged per performance of a song. They are defining a "performance" as the streaming of one song to one listener. So if you are a really big site like Live365 with 10,000 radio channels you are looking at a really big increase.
The industry is hoping a couple of bills currently in Congress will reverse the changes.

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