In response to the 7/15 CRB-ruled royalty rate increase that, if implemented, would basically kill Internet radio in the U.S., thousands of webcasters plan to go silent next Tuesday, 6/26, to draw attention to their industry's plight, says Kurt Hanson's RAIN website: "This "Day of Silence" is an encore of a successful media event that small webcasters organized on May 1, 2002 in response to a similarly royalty rate ruling from a Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP) five years ago. That event garnered national attention and was subsequently followed by a rate cut by the Librarian of Congress and the passage of the Small Webcaster Settlement Act for the period 1998-2005.
Webcasters will be alerting their listeners that "silence" is what Internet radio may sound like. Instead, listeners will be urged to call their reps in Congress that day and to ask them to support the "Internet Radio Equality Act" (IREA) (H.R. 2060 in the House and S. 1353 in the Senate) and to call or write their local newspapers that day to ask for editorial support for the bill.
The IREA would vacate the CRB's decision, while instituting an interim performance royalty rate of 7.5% of revenues (similar to the rate paid by satellite radio services) and change the standard used for future CRB proceedings to the standard typically used in other Copyright Office proceedings (which balances the needs of copyright owners, copyright users, and the general public). The bill currently has 118 co-sponsors in the House and is gathering support in the Senate.
The specific "Day of Silence" date of next Tuesday was selected by members of the SaveNetRadio.org coalition.
Said RAIN: "Most webcasters are planning the June 26 "Day of Silence" to begin at dawn in their time zone and end in late evening. Many webcasters are planning to shut off access to their streams entirely, while other webcasters plan to replace their music streams with long periods of silence (or static or ocean sounds or similar) interspersed with occasional brief public service announcements on the subject."
Banner ads and PSAs will be available to all participating stations from http://SaveNetRadio.org.