Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New Orleans Homecoming (for the Lucky Ones) - New York Times 

New Orleans Homecoming (for the Lucky Ones) - New York Times

This last weekend, off and on, while toiling around the house on projects, Ab and I had the internet radio on. And what we were listening to was the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Live. On the internet via WWOZ out of NO, LA. Here I am trying to finish vinyl tile in the laundry room and I get to here a live set by Terence Blanchard. I am in my house with the windows open and this amazing warm spring air is coming in, and at the same time I am with WWOZ deejays, loving the music in New Orleans. Radio stations playing music that has very little commercial market.

This is why I love Internet Radio. A live connection to people who enjoy the same music as me. A portal across the land that defies time and space. And right now Internet Radio is threatened. Threatened by the United States Copyright Royalty Board which passed a rate increase in the royalties payable to performers of recorded works broadcast on the internet. The rate increase is 300% to 1200% retroactively to the beginning of this year. Stations would have to pay per listener per song. The USCRB likes to label these stations as part of the radio industry. Yet most of these stations are non-profit stations ran by volunteers. They do not have that kind of funding. Heck, even just funding the accounting of listeners to number of songs will be prohibitively expensive for many of these stations.

A few stations I listen to:
KCRW: Santa Monica's Great Station
WFMU: Jersey City's Freeform
WDVX: Knoxville's Country-Bluegrass Flagtrailer
WWOZ: Out of New Orleans
WNKU: Northern Kentucky, my fave NPR station,
WXYC: Carolina College Rock
WFHB (Straight outta Bloomington, Indiana)

These stations, public stations, member supported, college and community radio stations, are there to provide a venue for the local musician, the unheralded genre, the unserved listeners.

As of May 15, all US online stations will be affected by the US Copyright Royalty Board decision. But it is not too late. we have a fix.

There is a bill just introduced in Congress that will save Internet radio from the devastating royalty fee increases that will put thousands of Internet webcasters out of business on May 15th. Please call your Representative in Congress as soon as possible and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act.

I have made the call. Please do it today.

Visit http://www.savenetradio.org/ to learn more.


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