Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Satan! Thy Name Is Copyright Royalty Board

As everyone who knows me KNOWS, I am a huge fan of Whole Wheat Radio. I have been a listener for years. I buy music I hear on the station. I go to concerts that I hear about at the station and I even go to Alaska to visit the station! Well as fate would have it, a group of civil servants have banded together, called themselves the Copyright Royaly Board and decided that my listening to independant artists on an internet steam is screwing artists out of money. This CRB group put their heads together and came up with a plan to help artists (in their opinion) and sent it off to become a law. It was intercepted by some sharp individuals who appealed this horrible piece of unworkable legislation but the appeal was denied. Now there is a slow and steady death march to the deadline of May 15th, the day the music dies, as puts it. And die it does, as this profoundly creatively focund universe that we enjoy called the internet is about to let dracula into the house. If this legislation passes, you may not even be able to play your own version of "Row, Row Row your Boat" on your MySpace, Spunky, without someone drilling you on your interests in nauticals... Will it go that far? I really don't know but I do know this is a dark day for independant musicians and the careers they have nurtured on line.

Essentially, what is going to happen is the royalties are going to jump to such an extraordinary level that nearly all internet streaming in the United States will be required to pull the plug. Gone are the Elysian fields where artists and listeners frolicked openly.

Two Representitives have just introduced a bill to Congress: H.R. 2060 Internet Radio Equality Act. It's the only platform we have to stop the insanity of silencing the internet. I'm not a big fan of rousting politicos but how can I NOT??? I called and I wrote and I must urge you to do the same because it is the only thing left to do that does not involve bloodshed and it is the RIGHT thing to do if it helps in any way to secure this freedom for artists and listeners.

God, I cannot imagine what horrors lie for us if this Internet Radio Equality Act does not pass. Don't let the bad guys win this one. Here is a copy of the letter I sent - use it - make up one of your own - use the ones on or call...M-F, 8-5 EST

As a fan of Internet radio, I was shocked to learn that the Copyright Royalty Board has decided to raise music royalty rates by 300 to 1200 percent. For most webcasters the new royalties exceed their revenue and they simply will go bankrupt and stop webcasting. Certainly the station that I listen to is user supported and it is but a labor of love of music. We share the artists that we discover and buy their music to support them, as well as attend their concerts when they are touring.

The silencing of Internet radio would be a blow to listeners like me who enjoy the wide variety of choices only available via Internet radio. This will kill the great diversity of music that I hear over the Internet and cut off the music of thousands to their avid listeners. All of us, listeners and artists alike are enjoying a renaissance in creativity with the emergence of the internet. Please help us protect that.

I respectfully request that you look into this matter. Please support H.B. 2060 and take action to prevent the stifling of the music through webcasting. Please understand that time is of the essence since the new royalty rates are retroactive to January 1, 2006 so they will cause immediate bankruptcies if they become effective for even one day. Please don’t let the music die. Let our artists have this resource to build their careers and let the webcasters connect us.

I thank you for your serious consideration on this matter.

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