Today marked a day that most online radio stations either went ofline, played white noise or played messages explaining why they went silent. Today is a protest to demonstrate what the internet would be like without online radio. Online radio is in serious jeopardy because of new legislation that could substantially raise the costs of putting copyrighted content on the airwaves. Unlike celestial radio stations, most online entities are very small operations without much financial backing if they have any at all.
On March 2nd, a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board increased the royalty fees that Online radio stations my pay. In this case the increase would force them to pay $.0008 per song and is retroactive though 2006. This will effectively remove many stations from the internet airwaves. The SaveNetRadio coalition was formed to help fight this increase and save many of these small webcasters from disappearing entirely. June 26th is to be a National Day of Silence and hopefully will spur further legislation to help eliminate these unfair practices and help save online radio.
I strongly urge you to contact your Congressional representatives and voice your complaint so that a recently introduced “Internet Radio Equality Act” can be passed to help fight this situation.