Weekend forecast: sunny Saturday, Internet radio doomsday Sunday
Bad news for Internet and public radio stations hoping to stave off the imposition of new royalty fees that will run many of them out of business (see "Idiots killed the radio stars" and "And this next track from "Marcel Marceau's Greatest Hits" goes out to the guys and gals at the CRB"). Late Wednesday, a federal appeals court rejected a request for an emergency stay of the fees, which means they'll kick in on Sunday as scheduled (and are retroactive to the beginning of 2006).
Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Digital Media Association, which includes large Internet radio operators like Yahoo, Live365, Pandora and RealNetworks, said he was still hopeful of eventual compromise, but in the meantime, Webcasters will be "forced to make very difficult decisions about what music, if any, they are able to offer. The result will certainly be fewer outlets for independent music, less diversity on the Internet airwaves, and far fewer listening choices for consumers." The last, best hope for Webcasters appears to lie with Congress, where Rep. Jay Inslee (D.-Wash.) is sponsoring the Internet Radio Equality Act. SaveNetRadio.org is sending out the SOS.
[Source: By John Murrell, Good Morning Silicon Valley, Cal, 12Jul07]
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