1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

    Dismiss Notice

Your Feedback: Save Internet Radio

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by Phillip, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    There are some major, major changes going on that could dramatically eliminate most legal on-line radio stations (like Muppet Central Radio) from existence. A new approved proposal for the royalty rates began to break on March 2 and we’ve been following it as it develops. The rates will not only include a dramatic increase every year, but they are proactive for all of 2006 as well.

    Internet radio plays by dramatically different rules than terrestrial (FM/AM radio). Here's a good example of why this ruling is unfair from Betanews....

    Without getting too technical, I’m sure you are wondering, “What does this mean for Muppet Central Radio?” If the agreement goes through as proposed and assuming Live365 stays in business in some form, our broadcasting and royalty payments will go up exponentially. We want Muppet Central Radio to continue as we’ve been broadcasting for seven years and have survived through many changes in the industry. Regardless, I want to let everyone know that significant changes of some kind will likely be happening concerning Muppet Central Radio in the weeks and months ahead depending on the outcome of this ruling. I’ll keep you informed as the situation develops.

    Live365 has put up this page on the developments…

    More information and how you can help is available here…
  2. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Well-Known Member

    You can negotiate individually with the royalty holders for your fees.
  3. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict Well-Known Member

    I've read about this elsewhere and I still don't get this.

    Assuming they're just greedy, why do the courts even bother listening to these cases?
  4. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    This is just kind of terrible. I hope things work out well in the end.
  5. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    This is bad news. I hope MC Radio continues on "as is" with all those hours of varied tunes but if changes did have to be made i hope it wouldn't cease to exist totally, even if there could be a half hour show made each week that people could stream off MC's servers that would maybe a chance to save it in some form.
  6. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, Live365 has already said that if the ruling goes down as it is currently proposed then they will likely go out of business. I think a compromise of some kind may be reached but it will no doubt increase royalty fees over the rates we are currently paying. I'm exploring all of our options in terms of ways to keep radio going for as many free listeners as possible and how we can increase site revenue to keep MC Radio alive.
  7. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I was looking at the Live365 site last night and saw they do offer a subscription where you arrange fees yourself. Obviously the officially released stuff on MC radio is probably treated royalty wise the same as any other commercial music release, but a lot of it on there has been taken from the shows themselves. I know there was some kind of permission before with Henson to be able to do this, and i'm not sure how things go with Muppet Studios but possibly you could get around these new fees by just using stuff directly from the broadcasts. Otherwise, if it does come down to the new fees applying i'd hope something could be done either with donations or sponsorship (i see you can run ad promos).

    I still would think something will be done to stop all this going through, i can't see the justification in them wanting back payments since 2006 (i would have thought at 500 bucks a station that would put them out of business) and it seems to be just one of the royalty companies, and in the case of the Muppet stuff i'd be suprised if the money ever made it back to the people who it should do as they probably have to claim it.
  8. stephenjlizard

    stephenjlizard Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I goofed and didn't see the sticky thread, and apparently there is little forgiveness for that. There is a lot of talk about this issue, and for those of you who listen to Adam Curry's "Daily Source Code" podcast, there is an interview featured today that talks about some of the legalities that go into this decision.

  9. stephenjlizard

    stephenjlizard Well-Known Member

    There may be some relief on the horizon. Check out the story here.
  10. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Yes Steve, there appears to be some hope. Things are looking up on the Internet radio front. The following news began to break yesterday afternoon.

    A new bill is before Congress that would require Internet radio to pay the same royalty rates as satellite radio. This proposed bill is significantly less than the CRB ruling on March 2. This bill now needs to be brought to Congress for a vote.

    Ask your Congressman or Congresswoman to please co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act submitted by Congressman Jay Inslee and ask them to sign the book at the desk to get the bill brought to the floor for a vote before stations start going off the air on May 15th.

    Click here to contact your Congressman…

    Here’s more info on the Internet Radio Equality Act…

  11. stephenjlizard

    stephenjlizard Well-Known Member

    Good info, Phillip!

    I wasn't going to mention much about this on the podcast, but I think a LOT of Muppet fans enjoy listening to Muppet Central Radio (myself included of course), and losing that always-accessible connection back to the music we love would be horrible. I've decided to spend a couple minutes next week talking about the legislation, where we are right now, and what we can do to make sure that this new legislation introduced by Messrs. Inslee and Manzullo does take hold.

    Any specific information you'd like me to share, Phillip?
  12. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for my ignorance, but I don't quite understand the threat. Could somebody spell it out in layman's terms?
  13. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Basically any broadcast company, whether internet, radio or satellite has to pay royalties to play the music they do. Internet radio pays per track played. The rate looks set to rise by anything upto around 90% over the next few years and would also impose a $500 fee each year per channel, and backdate them all to last year. MC Radio is part of LIVE365 and has to pay their fees. If their fees go up this much to cover the royalties and extra costs it could mean MC Radio and other small stations could no longer afford to continue in the way they do.
  14. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    Yikes, 90%? AND backdated? That seems really extreme. What is the motivation behind it?
  15. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    The Federal Register pushed back the royalty due date from May 15th to July 15th. This increases the window of opportunity for webcasters to fight the unfair royalty rates with better strategies and planned campaigns on Capitol Hill and awareness campaigns in media. Many believe that the pressure of HR 2060 (the Internet radio Equality Act introduced to the House of Representatives) might have played an important role in the extra time granted.

    Please continue your efforts to call your Representatives. Ask them to cosponsor HR 2060. For their numbers and the talking points, visit www.live365.com/choice.
  16. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    As in most things, it's about the money. What they don't realize is that the CRB ruling would all but extinct most legal on-line radio stations that play music. That's why everyone needs to contact their Representatives to help get the Internet Radio Equality Act sent to Congress for a vote.
  17. mikebennidict

    mikebennidict Well-Known Member

    I think it's more likely, they really don't care.

    This is not the first time this issue has come about.
  18. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Day of Silence

    Live365, along with the SaveNetRadio coalition and thousands of Internet radio stations throughout the U.S. will be participating in a Day of Silence on Tuesday, June 26th.

    On June 26th, from 3 a.m. Pacific to midnight, all 10,000 Live365 stations launched from the website, and Internet radio broadcasts nationwide, will go silent. Free listeners who tune into Live365.com stations will be redirected to a Day of Silence stream that offers an explanation, broadcaster testimonials and a call to action. VIP listeners will receive a Day of Silence PSA before being connected to the station's regular programming.

    We understand the possible disruptions this can cause, but feel drastic measures are necessary. Joining together with all other Internet radio stations we will show what listeners can look forward to if things don't change quickly... Silence.

    Internet radio needs your help. Take time today to contact your congressman through the link below.

  19. Fragglemuppet

    Fragglemuppet Well-Known Member

    Private donations

    This is, of course, a terrible thing, most of all because it will bring an end to the wide variety of music that different people enjoy. I was wondering, is Muppet Central open to pdirect donations? I realize it is possible to subscribe to Live365 and support stations that way, but I'm sure you can understand why I'd rather go the more direct and personal route!
    :) Of course, I'll also be supporting you by buying all the cool new merchandise on Amazon!
  20. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    So everybody knows... Tomorrow, June 26th, all stations that are part of Live 365 will observe a Day of Silence as if they were bracing for the worst case scenario. Subscribers who listen free will get the Day of Silence silent feed and broadcaster testimonials. VIP members will get the information about Live 365's Day of Silence, and then be connected to the station's normal programming.

Share This Page