When the new music webcasting royalty rates kick in on July 15, your favorite station may sound just like it does today -- silent. A broad coalition of music webcasters turned their stations off today in protest of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Board's recent rate ruling, which threatens to crush commercial services like Pandora as well as small and non-commercial webcasters.
Not all hope is lost, though. In 2002, an Internet radio day of silence helped spur Congress to reduce royalty rates and save small and non-commercial webcasters. Bills currently in the House and Senate would nullify the royalty ruling and bring some sensible changes to the rate-setting standards.