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A number of Internet radio stations will be participating in a Day of Silence on June 26 to protest the retroactive royalty rate increases due to go into effect on July 15. Organized by Kurt Hanson, publisher of the Radio and Internet Newsletter, the protest is designed to remind listeners that silence is "what the Internet could be reduced to on or shortly after" the royalty increase begins. 老域名出售

In March, the Copyright Royalty Board announced that it would raise royalties for Internet broadcasters, moving them from a per-song rate to a per-listener rate. The increase would be made retroactive to the beginning of 2006 and would double over the next five years.

After the announcement, a group of broadcasters spearheaded by National Public Radio petitioned the CRB for a rehearing, but a panel of judges denied the request less than a month later.

In early May, legislation was introduced into the Senate and House of Representatives that would overturn the CRB's decision and mandate a royalty rate of 7.5 percent of total revenues. Neither version of the Internet Radio Equality Act has yet to make it to the floor for a vote. A coalition of webcasters has also asked a federal appeals court to delay the rate hike.

Daunted by the prospect of legislation, SoundExchange—the licensing authority backed by the major record labels—offered Internet broadcasters an olive branch. Under SoundExchange's latest proposal, smaller webcasters would remain exempt from the new royalty schedule until 2010. Large, commercial webcasters would have to still have pony up beginning in mid-July. SaveNetRadio criticized SoundExchange's offer, saying that it amounted to throwing large webcasters under the bus while simultaneously ensuring that none of the small webcasters would ever see significant growth.

During the Day of Silence next week, Internet broadcasters will broadcast static or silence interspersed with public service announcements asking listeners to contact their congressional representatives and ask them to support the IREA. According to the Radio and Internet Newsletter, webcasters such as Live365.com, AccuRadio.com, and NPR affiliate KCRW will participate. Hanson said that he hopes that larger stations such as NPR, Pandora, Yahoo, and Real Rhapsody will also participate.


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