Sounds of Silence

If you like to listen to internet radio… listen up.

That’s the Sound of Silence, and not in a Simon and Garfunkel kind of way, but rather in protest of the new high music royalties for Internet radio, established by the Copyright Royalty Board in March which could well put many small, non-commercial stations out of business– stations like San Diego’s own Amplify SD and L.A.’s KCRW along with stations like SomaFM, home of Groove Salad (one of my favorites).

For large commercial operations like Clear Channel, these kinds of rate hikes are absorbed like any other increase in business cost. But for a small independent station, a non-profit public radio station or someone playing local music out of their garage, these fees will make it unrealistic to continue.

From the site:

On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio’s royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future.

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 – that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters’ royalties will grow exponentially!

So if you don’t like the silence, you have just 18 more days to let your voice be heard…. hook up with the folks at and find out how you can help.

And sorry, but I’m on a roll here with the song title inspired sentences:

Don’t let the music die.