Want to listen to your favorite Internet radio today, like Soma FM or WOXY? You can’t; they are silent. This is what we can expect permanently if the proposed Internet royalty rates, which discriminate against non-broadcast, online-only stations, take effect in mid-July.
Soma FM and WOXY are participating in Save Internet Radio’s Day of Silence today. Here’s Soma’s estimate of the economic effects of these new royalties, which impose disproportionate costs on online-only stations with small listener bases (for example, 2,500 concurrent listeners at Soma):
The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). SomaFM will be liable for $600,000 in additional royalties for 2006, and over $500,000 for the first half of 2007. As of July 15th, we will owe $1.1 million dollars in additional royalties.
If you like this silence, it’ll be permanent starting in mid-July. If you don’t like this silence, it’s up to you to do something about it. What can you do? Call your Congressional representatives and tell them that you would like them to support H.R.2060 and S.1353, the Internet Radio Equality Act.
Don’t be part of the collective action problem.