Richard McManus was nice enough to pass along Tim Westergren's open letter to save Pandora, LastFM and other internet music sites from special fees.
While the music industry has been waking up to the potential of the Internet, it still has more than a few members who are scared of anything over the net. Unfortunately, the music industry has many heads and even more lobbyists. So while it may make progress in one area, it's busy eroding that same progress in another.
In essence, the feds have legislation pending that would impose special royalties simply for broadcasting over the Internet. This would be debilitating to the few innovative music sites that we currently have and would destroy future innovation.
Pandora and simliar sites already pay royalties to artists, so the payout isn't the issue. The issue is special high fees that destroy the business model.
Even my father has discovered music he likes hidden within the streams of Pandora. When will record companies wake up and realize that there are far too many current and past artists for people to know about and keep track of? Pandora is truly their only hope for real back-catalog orders.
Here's the meat of Tim's letter, but there's more at the link above:
"Hi, it's Tim from Pandora,
I'm writing today to ask for your help. The survival of Pandora and all of Internet radio is in jeopardy because of a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC to almost triple the licensing fees for Internet radio sites like Pandora. The new royalty rates are irrationally high, more than four times what satellite radio pays, and broadcast radio doesn't pay these at all. Left unchanged, these new royalties will kill every Internet radio site, including Pandora.
In response to these new and unfair fees, we have formed the SaveNetRadio Coalition, a group that includes listeners, artists, labels and webcasters. I hope that you will consider joining us.
Please sign our petition urging your Congressional representative to act to save Internet radio: http://capwiz.com/saveinternetradio/issues/alert/?alertid=9631541
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