Believe it or not, I try to restrict my commentary on American political matters on this weblog. Anyone who knows me is aware what a monumental struggle it is to show such restraint. I’m going to bust out here.
Once again, internet radio is near death. Execution day is set for May 15. The Copyright Royalty Board (unelected, appointed with the usual care for the public interest we’ve seen elsewhere) has more than tripled the royalty rates for webcasters. David Byrne has written a good background piece.
I’m not an American citizen, so I can’t sign a petition or pester elected officials as a constituent. Maybe you, or better yet a few of you, would consider doing so on my behalf.
All you have to do is compare the present state of internet radio with what you’ll find on the analog dial to get a sense of what SoundExchange (a front organization set up by big record companies) will deliver to us if it has its way. This is a fundamental battle for the right of individuals and small groups to have an expressive voice in our larger culture.