CARP Killed The Radio Star

Thursday, August 1, 2002

A few weeks ago, the Librarian of Congress set royalty rates and reporting requirements for Internet Radio broadcasters. $0.07 per listener per song. That is $0.07 higher per listener per song than traditional radio stations pay. Already, small, independent broadcasters are being forced to shut down, because there is no way their advertising revenue would cover that cost.

This is rediculous. Congress has extended the moratorium on Internet taxes over and over again because they understand it could kill an industry that is still in its infancy. Yet they decide to kill webcasting before it’s really even born. Why? Because CARP, which is made up almost entirely of members from the major recording labels, told them to.

There is a ray of hope, and a point to this entry. You didn’t think there was either, did you? Some U.S. Representatives, including Rick Boucher from VA (who I increasingly wish represented Oklahoma), have introduced the Internet Radio Fairness Act in an attempt to save small webcasters. Take a look at it and, if you support it, I suggest you let someone know.

I know, this blog is getting annoyingly political, and I apologize. I rarely even listen to web radio (it’s blocked at work). I’m just tired of the recording industry getting every law they want to protect their oligopoly. And, I like using the word oligopoly.

Plus, we need web radio, because normal radio just keeps getting worse. Matt wrote about one of his favorite stations in Tulsa being switched to a “more popular” format, and something similar happened recently in OKC. Coincidentally, both stations were owned by Clear Channel, the Microsoft of radio.

Anyway… just so this entry isn’t a complete rant… I’m working on a small change for News Goat. If all goes well, no one will even notice it. I’m going to make use of the Perl module HTML::Template, which simply seems too useful not to use. It seems to fit in with the philosophy behind CSS CSS separates layout from content, while HTML::Template separates logic from content.

Oh, one more thing — oligopoly.