T Dog Media Blog Think Tank: The day the music died

While America is still debating whether or not radio personality Don Imus should have been fired for comments he made about the Rutgers womens’ basketball team, something else of importance slipped by the wires on Monday….

“Copyright Royalty Board Denies Rehearing On Webcast Royalties”

This is a huge blow for Internet music streamers. This decision, which was made on March 2, means that the rates to pay Sound Exchange, in which the labels get 50 percent of the royalty fees, will go up substantially, which means either Internet radio stations will have to start charging a fee for the public to listen, or more likely, put many internet radio stations out of business.

The RIAA and Sound Exchange declared a victory for the artists’ community. AFTRA also praised the ruling.

In other words, it’s another boat Britney Spears can buy or another mansion Diddy can acquire or…

Further Sanjaya’s “career”.

Angry enough now?

What crap.

The record labels also win, because it means more profits for them. There are five major labels that control a bulk of the nation’s music.

But for everyone else: The webcasters, the Internet radio listening public – they lose.

One could wonder if terrestrial radio also benefits from this. They may not be celebrating, as word is out that the RIAA and Sound Exchange will be coming after them next.

So, what now? An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is not likely, and you can forget negotiation with the music industry. The RIAA and the Sound Exchange have already stated there is no room for negotiation.

Definitely forget Sharpton and Jackson. They flat out don’t care.

How about Congress? You can forget that, too. Since National Public Radio is one of the entities battling the music industry on the copyright rates, Republicans will not even bother this measure. They hate NPR because of their “perceived” liberal bias. Meanwhile, our senator from Illinois is too busy running for President to care, even though its 19 months until the freaking election. (Is this what we elected him Senator for? To run for President?)

And the timing of all this is suspect, too. While the nation was hotly debating the Imus controversy, the CRB thought they can slip this ruling through without anyone noticing or caring.

They have thoroughly succeeded.

I would use a lyric from Don McLean’s 1972 Number One smash American Pie, about “the day the music died”, referring to the tragic plane crash that took the lives of musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) in 1959. But I’m concerned the RIAA will come after me for just typing it in this blog.

It’s that’s bad.

I guess like a winning White Sox team, Internet radio was too good to last.