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May 11, 2007

I’m still busy this week, but I thought I’d throw a quick blog up about something somewhat important to me. During my day, whether working on Mobygames or “day job” or just chilling out, I listen to podcasts and streaming Internet radio stations. Lately the later has become threatened by new legislation which raises the United States licensing fees for music played over the Intenet. Basically the fees are much greater than they are for FM stations or even satellite radio and are threatening to put some of my favorite Internet “stations” out of business, as it’s unlikely they’ll ever make enough money to pay the licensing.

The folks at Digitally Imported put it like this:

To make an analogy, imagine there was a law passed on an ice cream tax, and the tax rate depended on the number of visitors visiting your store rather than how much ice cream the store sold. So imagine the tax does not care if ice cream buyers came just to hang out and get a little bit of icecream – all ice cream stands would go out of business except those who sell wholesale mega packs to a few visitors in places like Sams Club or Costco, or Walmart if it was willing to lose money just to get you into their store.

Now I don’t live in the United States, but this law affects me as the Internet is international. My sanity also depends on a variety of these stations including Digitally Imported, RadioParadise, WOXY: The Future of Rock & Roll, all of which I recommend for listening. Like I said, I tune into them regularly while doing work, cooking, cleaning or simply if I’m playing another game whose soundtrack I don’t really get into (I listen to DI’s chillout and trance channels when playing Starflight, a spaceflight game from the 80s without much music).

Just another attempt by the music industry to stuff genies back into bottles… be sure to fight it!

And here’s a longer youtube video for those who don’t like to read: