[See update below] I’ve been neglecting PostClassic Radio, because it’s been difficult, with all the other work I need to be doing, to justify investing time in an enterprise that might be shut down soon. Here’s the message I received from Live 365 this week:
In answer to the top question on broadcasters’ minds: we have no plans to shut down on July 15th when the billions in per channel minimums and significantly higher rates come due, unless forced to by SoundExchange.
We believe Congress and the public share our outrage over the fundamental inequity in performance royalty rates. Why is it that terrestrial radio pays NO royalties and satellite and cable radio pay much lower royalties than Internet radio to SoundExchange? Many artists have also contacted us to voice opposition to new CRB rates that will decimate Internet radio and eliminate their chance to be heard. The momentum of public opinion and business sense is on our side and we plan to continue to fight for artists, webcasters and their audiences until a resolution is found.
In the meantime, let us assure you: webcasters covered under the Live365 SoundExchange license will not be responsible for any retroactive fees. Upon resolution of the new rates, Live365 will honor its obligation to provide advance notice of any change in pricing with the option for you to continue services or not, prior to imposition of any increases.
Awhile back, a Washington insider who seemed to know things told me that internet radio would almost certainly squeak through. Today, however, two days before the deadline for massive rate changes, things don’t look hopeful, but last-minute negotiations are keeping everyone in suspense; at least, everything is apparently not going to change Sunday as threatened. This next week I’m in Boston, teaching a summer course in American music for international students at Northeastern University. When I get back, if internet radio is still alive, I’ll work on a big playlist update.
UPDATE: There’s been a reprieve, and internet radio stations are allowed to continue at the old rates until some kind of compromise is worked out. I think the gist is, Nell’s still tied to the train track, but Dudley Doright has stopped the train, for now. My Washington informant knew this would happen.