1) it raises rates that streaming webcasts (independents webcasters, webcasters using services such as Live365.com - I'm one of them, AOL Radio, Yahoo Radio, etc.) pay to a point that ALL streaming audio providers will have to shut down;
2) it ends the Small Webcasters License Agreement that was negoiated in 2003, which will not only cause services for Independent Webcasters & Public Radio stations to close down, but many Independent Webcasters will owe so much for Jan. 2006 through today that they will be forced to take Personal Bankruptcy.
These Copyright Royalties are said to be for Artists. The fact is, the Major Music Companies own the vast majority of the copyrights for the music they have released. Only a very few Major Label artists own their copyrights (& most of those, like Bowie, Springsteen, etc. have paid a lot of cash to get them). Publishing rights yes, but not copyrights. And this decision does not change songwriter royalties (which all legally-operating U.S. Webcasters pay) one bit.
Even services such as Pandora would be affected. Pandora's royalty bill for 2006 (under the new rates) is estimated to be anywhere from several hundred million to over one Billion U.S.dollars.
The Independent Webcasters affected by this aren't wealthy. They are folks like you & me who love the Music & want to share the great songs & musicianship with everyone. These aren't 'Pirate Stations' either. These are webcasters based in the U.S. doing everything legally & above board. And, if services such as Live365 & LoudCity have to shut down, webcasters & Listeners from over 100 countries who stream through those services will also be silenced.
More on the decision- http://www.live365.com/info/royalties.html
What can you do?
If you live in the United States, contact your House & Senate members & let them know how you feel.
If you live outside the U.S., go to Save the Streams (http://www.savethestreams.org/) and sign the online petition,
and contact the Copyright Royalty Board (http://www.loc.gov/crb/contact/)
More background on this decision:
Report by the Copyright Royalty Board (115 pages)- http://www.loc.gov/crb/proceedings/2005-1/rates-terms2005-1.pdf
Information on the decision-
Who gets rich- http://www.kurthanson.com/archive/news/030207/index.shtml
If you know Anyone (local, state, or federal government officials, local, state, or federal Political Party Officials, College or University Officials, etc.) contact them & let them know that this has to be rolled back. There will be an appeals & negoiation process for the next few months, but NOW is when we as Webcasters, Listeners, Musicians, & Recording Companies must make our voices heard.