Internet Radio Under the Gun

According to David Toub at Sequenza 21, based on an article at The Agonist, a law is about to be passed to price internet radio out of existence via high royalty payments. Petition attached. More in-depth here and at Live365 itself.

UPDATE: Brian McLaren finds a good analysis here.


  1. says

    This is ghastly, unfortunate and foolish. I agree with the linked analyses, and I am hesitant to even say much since I’d just be preaching to the choir. I am sure my thoughts are those of all of us, and are shared by composers, performers and listeners, the creators, supporters and appreciators of all creative works.
    To state the obvious. Radio has sucked for a long time, but at least in the old days you could find certain cities that might have a good station or two, or discover an exciting show that only ran at 2AM on Sunday morning, so you would wait up for it. But now even that is gone, as the Clear Channel monopoly has utterly destroyed innovation in the radio industry. Even the jobs of local quirky DJs are gone. A stint at a low power college radio station is the last opportunity for programming that lived outside the manufactured corporate dullness of what you get on corporate FM. Contrived, me-too works with no substance, pandering to tastes of goodness knows who exactly, human resources employees with 75 IQs at health care consortiums? Hard to say as no one I know of listens to radio any more.
    It used to be that the new groups I’d hear about and patronize came from those rare 2AM broadcasts, or something you’d stumble upon at a friends house.
    Then, nothing for a decade as even the rarest of broadcasts withered away. My CD purchases dried up as well. I simply couldn’t find anything worth listening to, much less worth purchasing. This corresponded to the well-publicized death of the music industry, attributed to ‘piracy’. But I knew it wasn’t piracy and so did everyone else. It was because the corporations were so addicted to control and uniformity that they squashed the market they depended on.
    I also knew that out there somewhere was great music worth listening to, the problem was that I could not easily find it because the ClearChannel era was working hard to make sure myself, and other listeners, could not find the music.
    Finally, things changed for the better. With the advent of internet radio, I could find out about worthy groups and composers doing interesting things and writing music that I cared to listen to more than once. I started purchasing CDs once again and making plans to attend concerts, even driving for hours to see a performance.
    We can see that these actions of an audience finding the great music rather than passively accepting the garbage they are told they must accept is threat to the corporate music oligarchy. Listeners are once again finding groups they love and this translates into a market, listeners are also buying this worthy music. That spells trouble to the oligarchy. They are hurting at their lost sales, sales lost only for one reason – the tremendously low quality of their product, in tune with our new WalMart era of a race to the bottom, a race that has not ended at the bottom as the participants are given shovels with which to dig to the Earth’s center in the fanatical corporate quest for ever lower quality, even beyond that which is though possible. Singers on the radio can not even sing on pitch and use DSP equipment with noticeable artifacts to ‘correct’ their performance. Gag me!
    Even McDonalds has realized that you can’t sink quality forever and not have it affect sales (McDonalds now has decent coffee and salads), the oligarchy is too prideful and addicted to control to improve their offerings. So they instead seek to destroy the market for quality music, music that does not suck. They have figured out by now that listeners are managing to find good music through internet radio. This makes independent internet radio targeted by them for destruction.
    That is what this is about. It is about the totalitarian abuse of power as the despots desperately clench to whatever control they can attain over our lives. Even if it means their own destruction, just like a virus, they will not let go of the host they depend on for sustenance.