CRB upholds decision to increase music royalties

By Justin Mann on April 17, 2007, 8:08 PM
Internet radio, as least as far as music is concerned, continues to be in deep water. The Copyright Royalty Board has upheld their earlier decision regarding a huge increase in royalties that must be paid to artists including when those songs are streamed over the Internet. Depending on the content, the increase can be as much as 12 times the former amount, which could easily result in many Internet radio stations going bankrupt from lack of money to pay said royalties. Of course, this has upset many, enough for them to make a plea to Congress:

"The CRB's denial of a rehearing today is all but a nail in the coffin for Internet radio, and May 15 now looms as the day the music will die," Potter stated. "Internet radio provides exposure and royalties for thousands of independent artists and labels that are not represented by broadcast radio -- and last year, 72 million people tuned in every month. We call on Congress to step in to save Internet radio for the artists, the labels, the webcasters and -- most importantly -- the tens of millions of listeners."
This affects Internet radio based in the U.S. more than any other. As a last ditch effort, a collaboration has been created in the form of a website, SaveNetRadio.org, to spread the word. Considering the very low profit margin of Internet radio to begin with, it may be impossible for many to stay in business, assuming nothing changes. The article brings out a good point. If the majority of legit sites are driven out of business by outrageous fees, it seems likely that more will turn to pirating music or go to underground stations that don't bother paying any fees. You can't get blood from a stone.

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