March 5, 2007

Internet Radio on the Rocks

The Copyright Royalty Board, a panel set up by the US Copyright Office to decide on issues having to do with royalty payments by internet broadcasters, recently issued a new set of royalty rates for internet radio stations. From the report at RAIN and a blog post by Radio Paradise‘s Bill Goldsmith it looks like the new rates could be as much as 125% of a large internet radio station’s revenues. No, that’s not a typo. For smaller radio stations the royalties could be as much as 200% or revenues or more.

This could be the end of Radio Paradise and other “traditional” internet radio stations, but it would also do away with more innovative services like Pandora, Tourfilter and The Hype Machine which, because they allow people to listen over the internet, would also be subject to these new royalty rates.

I’m not completely sure what we can do about this yet but I figure that sharing these facts with the meager readership of these blogs is a good step.