RIAA moves to squash Internet radio by charging high rates

by Davey D, DaveyD.com

Music fans who have sought out the Internet for solace over the mundane offerings of commercial radio may be in for some bad news. After a year of intense lobbying the RIAA has gotten just about everything they wanted from the Congress and the Office of Copyright in terms of royalty rates for Internet radio and other digital media services. Things are at such a high rate that it will effectively shut down most Internet radio broadcasters.

I saw this first hand a few years back while working at one of the biggest Internet radio companies (AOL Radio) One of the services they offered was for free and because of the then current rate structure that the RIAA lobbied for, as the more and more people began to tune in and the service got hot, the company was hit with this crazy bill that was in the millions. The company big wigs attempted to try and work things out with the RIAA based labels but to no avail. The end result was putting time limits on the service and then eventually closing it out altogether. It was just too expensive.

If such things can happen to the big giants that have millions in their coffers, then you can see that the little guy will be toast. Keep in mind at the time, the large number of listeners we had may have been around a million, which ain't all that large when you consider that you can reach the entire world.

As far as I'm concerned this was a move to eliminate competition and centralize the places that people go on line to get their music. In this case it's from the commercial radio stations who are now experimenting and expanding formats with their HD radio systems. As I noted during last year's LA FCC hearings, what i likely to happen is that commercial radio will do some behind the scenes bartering and not pay such high rates in exchange for air play on their regular outlets.

This is a very foul move and sadly it happened on the watch of the Democrats. Where's Hillary, Barack and others on this issue? or did that all that David Geffen (Geffen Records) money along with contributions from other Hollywood entertainment big wigs buy their silence?

What's even sadder is this happens just as activists and concerned community groups have been setting up their own stations to bring attention to key social issues overlooked by mainstream outlets. to top all this off, the new rates are going to be applied retroactively.

Now we can thank Congressional Black Caucus member Bobby Rush for selling out to big time commercial interests like AT&T and trying to get rid of Net Neutrality protections. We can now thank his fellow Democrats for allowing this bullshit rate hike to pass through without a whimper. Didn't they say they were gonna bring about a new day? Hasn't Barack been calling for a new type of politic? How can you have new type of politic that involves the people when you have folks in the same political camp making it real expensive to have a voice in the digital age?

What's crazy is as the Presidential election heats up and these "Demo-craps" find themselves getting clobbered to death by right wing talk shows, maybe then they'll think back and realize that they helped in killing a medium that could've been flipped to be key asset for them by grassroots independent organizers.
I will find out what can be done to turn this around, in the meantime, I suggest people start calling their congressional representives and demanding some answers. Oh yeah, don't let them tell you some nonsense about digital downloading being the cause of their economic slump. Hardcore Democrat and talk show host, Rosie O'Donell was on The View last friday spewing that lie.

Some of these bigtime artists have seen their album sales drop in half by mllions. I.e 50 cent saw album sales slip from 8 million albums to 4 million albums. There's no way 4 million people downloaded the Massacre album. Platinum selling artists like P-Diddy and Busta Rhymes who barely went gold with their last releases were NOT victim to MILLIONS of people downloading their albums.

Again folks the name of the game for those in power is to CONTROL THE FLOW OF INFORMATION AND WHO ACCESS TO MEDIA OUTLETS.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey