Just another organization wanting to fight what it believes to be unfair business practices

This whole issue surrounding the Internet radio royalty increase has me rather bummed out.  The current royalty payment plan has smaller webcasters paying a portion of their revenue towards royalties -- usually in the range of 10 to 12 percent.  However, the approved royalties would force them to pay every time a song is heard, along with a minimum fee per channel.  This increase will force smaller stations straight out of business -- and it is scheduled to take place on July 15.

At the moment, the controversy surrounds royalties that deal strictly with digital transmission of music, which includes Internet and satellite radio.  XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio currently have their own agreements with the RIAA, but are having the agreements renegotiated.

Live365 is the latest Internet radio company to join the cause.  In a press release sent to media contacts, Mark Lam, Live365 CEO, is the latest person who wants to see something be done to stop this madness.

"Make no mistake, we want to pay a fair royalty to artists,” Lam said. “We have been paying songwriters for their copyright royalties for years and you don't hear complaints about that.  But the new rates are insanely high and will kill Internet radio.”

As someone who listens to Internet radio daily, I definitely don't want to see many of the smaller stations vanish due to what many considers to be a greedy organization.

For those keeping score at home, Live365, National Public Radio, Yahoo, AOL, and RealNetworks are on the growing list of companies protesting the royalty increase.  The next several months should prove to be rather interesting.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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