Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Blow to Internet Radio

We once again venture down the slippery slope of an off-topic post. If you listen to Internet radio — an estimated 72 million do — a ruling released Tuesday by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board significantly increased the royalties paid for streaming digital songs online. Bad news, because this is likely to mean an end to independent webcasting — the terrific Pandora, for instance — and Internet radio, including simulcasts by National Public Radio stations like KCRW. The ruling is explained in detail by Save Internet Radio, and although the decision is being slammed on Capital Hill, overturning it will be an uphill battle (write your lawmakers!). Kurt Hanson, who runs AccuRadio and publishes the Radio and Internet Newsletter, told the L.A. Times the decision threatens to "shut down the entire medium."

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