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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.

    Internet Radio in Real Peril
    by Internet post by Steve Sikes-Nova, M.Ed., M.S.W.

    Your choice to listen to Internet Radio is in Real, Immediate peril again from March Govt. Regulatory Ruling - Background & TAKE ACTION below!

    Coporate Music Rules America (RIAA) is trying to vastly limit your listening choices once again, folks. Please take a moment of your time to look over what I have put together below on this issue, then please take action - Thanks, Steve.

    (Note: For those of you interested in some background see directly below. For those of you who want to TAKE ACTION! immediately see further down the page at the *****).

    BACKGROUND: On March 2, 2007, The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) approved royalty rates that will bury any small webcaster and create a heavy burden even for big broadcasters like Yahoo and AOL Music.

    How did this happen? The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) told the CRB thats what they wanted, and the CRB just gave it to them.

    You're probably thinking, hey that's awful, but who are the the RIAA and CRB?

    RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is a lobbying group formed by the five largest record labels. They are embedded in Washington D.C. They make sure laws are written to keep them rich, no matter what.

    The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) is part of the US Copyright Office. The Board is charged with determining the royalty rates that would be determined by a willing buyer and a willing seller in a marketplace transaction. They decided to jack the rates beyond a broadcasters means despite decades of royalty rates being 1 - 2% of broadcaster revenue.

    In sum, these new performance royalty fees are based exclusively on the number of people tuned into an Internet radio station, rather than on a portion of the station's revenue. They discarded all evidence presented by webcasters about the potentially crippling effect on the industry of such a rate structure, and rubber-stamped the rates requested by the RIAA.

    Under this royalty structure, an Internet radio station with an average listenership of 1000 people would owe $134,000 in royalties during 2007 - plus $98,000 in back payments for 2006. In 2008 they would owe $171,000, and $220,000 in 2009.

    There is no way for a station with 1000 listeners to make that kind of money. That's over $11 per listener per month in 2007. No Internet radio station currently operating comes even close to that kind of income.

    In other words, if they are allowed to stand these rates are a death sentence for independent Internet radio stations. The only stations that would survive would be those who can AFFORD TO OPERATE AT A VERY, VERY LARGE LOSS such as AOL (who would owe over $20,000,000 in 2006, far in excess of their income from radio) and maybe Yahoo.

    As quoted in on 3-14-07, Mark Lam, chief executive of Live365 Inc., a major Internet broadcast service (AND THE HOST OF MY INTERNET RADIO STATION 'NEWGRASS, PROG & MORE!', says the new rates will kill off most Internet broadcasters. "As the current law stands, we are out," he said. The CEO of Pandora, another large, popular internet-only broadcast service said essentially the same thing.

    A Big Guy Speaks out against this debacle: DAVID BYRNE (former lead singer for the ultra-successful new wave band THE TALKING HEADS) has this to say in his blog: "The reasoning that it's for the benefit of the artists rings a little hollow as most artists heard this argument re: cracking down on file sharing," Byrne writes. "Most never see money from their record companies anyway so the line about 'we're doing it for you' is pretty suspect."

    A little guys speak out against this debacle: Matthew Ebel, an independent musician and podcaster says in his blog that, "You'd think that, as a musician, I'd be overjoyed to see a larger slice of the pie going to publishers and, therefore, guys like me. Hell no. Would I like to see a little chunk of change every time my music gets played anywhere? Of course I would. But am I willing to sacrifice the goodwill of internet broadcasters and their listeners simply to make, quite literally, a nickel?"

    No, it's not world peace, and end to hunger, or anything even close to that. However, if music is as important to your life as it is to mine being a webcaster allows me the creative space each evening to unwind so that I can have that much more mental energy and enthusiasm for my full-time job as a special educator in Virginia's public schools then take some time to visit the websites below and take action on web radio's behalf.

    Websites dedicated to this issue (not in any particular order):
    / Save our Internet / Webcasters Unite / save the
    / Save / / /

    Steve Sikes-Nova, M.Ed., M.S.W.
    "the virginiaprograsser" Newgrass, Prog & More! Internet Radio on
    Playing the music that you don't and won't hear on ClearChannel: newgrass/progressive bluegrass, prog rock, alt country, blues, jazz, indie, alternative folk, singer-songwriter and MORE, of course.

    Show Schedules
    - this link shows the station's weekly schedule. Be on the lookout for new and archived 'Conversations From the Farmhouse', my ongoing interview series with the legends and aspiring legends that make the music.


    ESJ is looking for writers/poets for our next issues. All work is appreciated and will be published (with the exception of articles containing racism, bigotry or other demeaning topics) Also, this is a PG-13 rating and will be censored if you do not edit it. Please e-mail The EvO:R Street Journal.
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