back to article Internet radio stations rebuff pigopolists' 'compromise'

Internet radio stations have rejected a compromise proposal from the US music industry on higher music licence payments. It would allow small stations to keep the old fee structure, but stations claim the deal is designed to stunt net radio's growth. The US Copyright Royalties Board (CRB) will implement higher charges for …

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Hmmm...

I see ads on TV all the time for TimeWarner's Roadrunner service, and one of the SPs is "high quality internet radio delivered to your desktop" - I wonder how much lobbying has been done by TW and others to have this crippling law pushed through?

Oh wait - that's just me being cynical...

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They call it a "compromise"

I call it "jack-booted thugs shaking down the old ladies."

This is why I refuse to buy a CD and why I refuse to pay for MP3s.

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The death of terrestrial radio

Terrestrial broadcasters, including television, but primarily radio, are failing left and right. Read any day's "Radio Broadcast Review" newsletter to get a feel for how bad times are.

Right now the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is petitioning the US Congress to block the merger of XM and Sirius satellite radio, saying it "creates a monopoly" that is a threat to terrestrial broadcasters. Internet radio is viewed in the same vein, and is being treated equally rough by the NAB and its minions.

The bottom line: terrestrial radio broadcasters pay NOTHING for music, have infrastructure and license costs that are competitive with internet broadcasting, and have less competition in any market than either internet or satellite broadcasters (fewer channels than either satellite or internet on either AM, FM or HD radio bands). Period. Yet they can't turn a profit any more, or at least can't unless they are part of a huge, nation-wide consortium.

Internet broadcasters and satellite have, by any measure, an uphill struggle before they can even begin to approach broadcast radio. Satellite requires an incremental equipment purchase and subscription to the service just to RECEIVE the programming - listeners must truly "opt-in" with their purse - as opposed to having a listening device built into every car for them by default.

Internet listeners must have a PC (an extra cost), a high-speed internet connection (an extra cost), THEN they have to find internet broadcast content. The latter is a serious problem: unlike a car radio or satellite, you can't just "scan the dial" for internet broadcasts: you have to explicitly connect to them.

Yet these "extra cost" services are perceived as a threat by terrestrial broadcasters...because terrestrial broadcasters are failing so miserably to deliver content that their audience wants that they cannot get advertisers to sponsor them any more. An advertiser would much rather have a 5 second spot at the beginning of an internet stream where it *WILL* be seen and heard as opposed to 50 spots on the radio that might get broadcast, but probably not paid any attention to.

The internet radio community is morally "right" to fight the ruling for new charges, but they will get killed anyway because the NAB is a BIG lobby in the US Congress - not to mention that they insure that politicians get free spot time on radio and television.

So, once again, we Americans are showing the world that we truly are led by the decedents of Al Capone and Bugsy Segal. I wish it were otherwise.

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showdown

Its time for a showdown I know a number of stations that will stay on no matter what Ive said it before and il say iyt again the internet was once free for the people lets take it back from government controls.

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The war is over

Have we heard all this before?

In the 80's 90's and even today the war against piracy, drugs, terrorism have all been won.You only have to look at how hard it is to find an mp3 on the 'internet' or to score some dope outside your local school.

I am just glad we are worrying about the important stuff like royalties and getting every last cent possible, rather than putting any money to solve silly problems like starvation, HIV, homelessness or War.

Good to see we still have out sensible heads on.

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You mean to say...

>look at how hard it is to find an mp3 on the 'internet'

There are still MP3's out there ? I thought all that stuff disappeared once the evil Napster was defeated by the forces of truth and light ;)

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