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Internet radio organizes "Day of Silence" on Wednesday

Politech archive on CARP proceeding:

Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 11:14:18 -0500
Subject: Internet radio's "Day of Silence" set for 5/1/02 ("Mayday!")
From: "Kurt Hanson" <kurt@kurthanson.com>
For more information, contact:
Kurt Hanson or Paul Maloney, "RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter"
1-312-527-3879 (Kurt's cell: 1-773-354-5878)


Internet radio organizes "Day of Silence";
Webcasters to cry "Mayday! Mayday!" on May 1st

Hundreds of Internet radio stations and channels across America will be
shutting off their music streams on Wednesday, May 1st, in a "Day of
Silence" to highlight their concern over the upcoming U.S. Copyright Office
ruling on royalty rates that may shut down or bankrupt the vast majority of
the nascent Internet radio industry.

Under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the
Librarian of Congress is required to set "sound recordings performance
royalty" rates for Internet radio stations by May 21st -- and a Copyright
Royalty Arbitration Panel (CARP) working for that office has recommended a
rate of $.0014 per listener per song (or $.0007 for broadcast simulcasts).
Many webcasters say the proposed royalty rate is the equivalent of 200% or
more of their revenues.

By crying 'Mayday! Mayday!' on Wednesday, webcasters are hoping that
listeners will take the time to contact their representatives in Washington
and ask those representatives to express their concerns to the Librarian of
Congress, delivering the message that "the legislative intent of a statutory
royalty rate was supposed to be to ENCOURAGE the growth and diversity of the
industry, not to kill it."

"The proposed fees would definitely put us out of business," said Bill
Goldsmith, the owner of popular Paradise, California based adult rock
station RadioParadise. "If that happens, everyone loses: our listeners, the
artists we play, and the record labels themselves.  We'd see two years of
hard work and sacrifice go right down the drain."


Most webcasters are planning the May 1st "Day of Silence" to begin at dawn
in their time zone and end in late evening. Some webcasters plan to go
entirely silent, while others plan to replace their music streams with
periods of silence interspersed with public service announcements on the
subject. (Some webcasters plan to broadcast, on at least one of their
channels, an all-day talk show on the issues involved produced by WOLF FM's
Steve Wolf.)

Webcasters that will be participating in the "Day of Silence" include the
majority of the top-rated independent webcasters, including AllDanzRadio
(various formats), Choice Radio (various formats), ChronixRadio (rock),
ClevelandHits.com (CHR), CyberRadio2000 (various formats), Digitally
Imported (various forms of electronica), HardRadio (rock), iNetProgramming
(bluegrass and other formats), Internet Radio Hawai'i (Hawaiian music),
KING-FM/Seattle (classical), KPIG/Freedom, CA (Americana), M4Radio (indie
rock), Mostly Classical (classical), Radio Paradise (AAA), Radioio (AAA) and
RAIN Radio (several formats).

Other webcasters planning to participate include SomaFM (electronica), 3WK
(alternative), TwangTownUSA (country), Twangcast (country), Ultimate-80s
(Eighties), Village Voice Radio (eclectic), WCSB/Cleveland (various),
WICB-FM (Ithica College), and WOLF FM (70s-80s-90s).

Webcasters who may not go silent but who plan to support the effort with
heavy schedules of PSAs (that will include a moment of silence -- e.g.,
"Here's what Internet radio may sound like on May 22nd...") include
Beethoven.com (classical), Live365.com (various formats),
ClassicalMusicDetroit (classical), Radio Free Virgin (various formats),
Shoutcast (various formats), Winamp Radio (various formats), and numerous
other college and noncommercial webcasters.

Some major terrestrial broadcasters (many of which stream simulcasts of
their broadcast stations on the Internet) also plan to support the effort
with either silenced streams or a combination of banner ads, public service
announcements, information on their websites, including major broadcast
groups Susquehanna Radio Corp. and Cox Radio.

Additional webcasters who have committed to be part of next Wednesday's "Day
of Silence" include Audiocandy.com (legal downloads), BumpNgrind Radio,
Daily Dementia Overdose (punk/hardcore), Destination Doo-Wop (doo-wop),
TheDownbeat (downtempo), Flaresound (deep house), Green Mist Radio
(Celtic/folk), HitzRadio (CHR), KCRW/Santa Monica (NPR), KOZT/Mendocino
County (adult rock), KUSA Radio ("spanning a century of American music"),
KTRU/Rice University, RadioMaxMusic (various formats),. Rave Network
(electronica), Red White & Blue Radio (Americana & country), Reign Radio
(Christian hard rock), SmoothJazz.com (jazz), The70sStation ('70s), Stanford
University streaming media, WebRadioPugetSound (various formats),
WETD/Alfred State College, WFMU/Jersey City, NJ (the longest-running
freeform radio station in the US), WMVY-FM/Martha's Vineyard (progressive),
WSIA-FM/Staten Island (CUNY), World Music Webcast (world music), and Zoetek
World Radio (world music).


The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), which lobbied Congress
for royalty payments in the first place, has denied that the CARP's
recommended royalty rate will cause significant harm to the Internet radio
industry, arguing that the industry is "crying wolf." But Beethoven.com's
Kevin Shively disagrees, noting:

"Here's an example of how the CARP-recommended rate would affect webcasters:
For eight of the larger independent webcasters -- Beethoven, Digitally
Imported, Radioio, Radio Paradise, SomaFM, 3WK, Wolf FM, and Ultimate-80s --
we calculated that our total hours streamed last year were 40 million hours
and our combined revenues were $93,000. But according to the CARP panel's
recommended royalty rate, we'd owe a royalty to the RIAA for the same period
of $710,000!"

Goldsmith cautions against believing the press releases from the RIAA which
try to portray the fees as being affordable. "If you do the math, you'll see
that not one webcaster -- large or small -- can cover these fees with their
present levels of income."


On Monday, a letter signed by 20 key members of the US House of
Representatives was sent to the Librarian of Congress, expressing concern
that the CARP proposal for webcasters is "both contrary to the intent of the
DMCA and Congress's general policy not to stifle innovation on the

Both the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News have issued
stinging editorials rejecting the proposal and urging the Register of
Copyrights to adopt a more reasonable approach, with the Mercury News
suggesting that if the Copyright Office doesn't lower the rate, Congress
should eliminate the royalty entirely.

On May 1st's "Day of Silence," listeners will be encouraged to call or write
their state's two Senators and their district's Congressman, asking them to
add their voice to the effort to set a royalty rate that will not destroy
this nascent industry.  Banner ads and PSAs will be available to all
participating stations, and SaveInternetRadio.org will be redesigned to
specifically focus on the day's event.


"Whether their trade association, the RIAA, realizes is or not, killing
Internet radio is NOT in the best interests of record companies," argues
Kurt Hanson, publisher of "RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter" and one of
the organizers of the "Day of Silence" event. "Internet radio is giving
great exposure to dozens of genres and thousands of artists who currently
don't get airplay on AM and FM radio stations."

Said Zack Zalon of Los Angeles, CAs Radio Free Virgin, a webcasting station
offering over 40 channels of various genres of music: "Lawmakers must
support the independence, diversity and creativity that online radio
represents. Furthermore, in the absence of legitimate entertainment options
such as online radio, pirate services will flourish and deny artists the
dues that were all fighting for."

Additional background on the issues is available in the "Press Room" section
of the SaveInternetRadio.org website (http://www.saveinternetradio.com).


"Why is the record industry killing its best friends and alienating its best
customers?" -- numerous webcasters and listeners.

"Webcasters want to pay royalties to recording artists," added David Landis,
of Ultimate-80s, an all 1980s music format webcaster based in Los Angeles,
CA. "But if super-high rates cause us to shut down, there will be no music,
no royalties paid, and no money going to recording artists."

Educational and Community Stations no longer streaming due to the DMCA...
KBCS  WMHW  KBVR   KXRJ. (Source: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~willr/cb/sos/)

MORE QUOTES available in SaveInternetRadio.org's Press Room.


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