Raleigh, NC, June 21, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- The "Internet Radio Equality Act", which affects every public radio station in the nation (Senate Bill S-1353, and Congressional Bill HR-2060), was introduced over one month ago. Less than one-fourth of US Representatives and only a handful of Senators are signed on as author or co-sponsors as of June 13, 2007. Lack of additional support could cause the bills to die in committee, forcing non-profit public radio to pay commercial rate royalties for live broadcast internet streaming or turn off their webcasts altogether.
Public radio listeners have begun grassroots lobbying efforts on behalf of all public radio stations, including WCPE, TheClassicalStation.Org. National Public Radio, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Collegiate Broadcasters, Inc. and Intercollegiate Broadcasting System have all urged support for the bills on behalf of their member stations;
WCPE is one of the first public broadcasters to stream on the Internet. WCPE, a non-commercial, 100 percent listener-supported, independent station dedicated to excellence in Great Classical Music broadcasting is heard worldwide on the Internet in multiple formats, including the next generation IPv6. If the Act is not passed, WCPE could be forced to seriously curtail, or even abandon, its streaming service.
In 1976, Congress enacted laws which made all broadcasters (public and commercial) pay royalties for music. Congress recognized the beneficial nature of non-commercial, educational broadcasting (public radio). Public radio's royalty rates were to be formulated in a manner that did not involve inherently commercial business aspects such as: sales, profit, reach, net, and gross.
In 1998, Internet radio was added into the copyright law. The subcommittee writing the new law placed public radio webcasting in the commercial broadcasting section instead of the non-commercial section.
On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board ruled that public broadcasters must formulate and pay webcasting royalties in the same manner as commercial broadcasters.
The result of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to ignore the original copyright law’s public service provisions is to shackle every public radio webcast with drastically higher royalty rates, increased record-keeping and reporting requirements and participation in expensive copyright tribunals and Copyright Royalty Board hearings.
The "Internet Radio Equality Act" will not eliminate the payment of royalties by public radio. It simply allows webcasting royalties to be calculated the same way that public radio broadcasting royalties are calculated.
Senate Bill S-1353 and Congressional Bill HR-2060 will correct the errors made by the Copyright Royalty Judges if the bills can get enough votes from your two US Senators and your Representative. To learn how to help continue public radio streaming, visit http://theclassicalstation.org/save_our_streams.shtml. There are links to help you find the addresses of your Senators and Representative.
With a 28-year history, WCPE 89.7 FM is a non-commercial, 100 percent listener-supported, independent station dedicated to excellence in Great Classical Music broadcasting. Community-minded business underwriters and foundations are among the 150,000 listeners in the North Carolina broadcast area. General Manager Deborah S. Proctor’s leadership has enabled the WCPE community to include national and worldwide listeners. Other radio stations and cable television systems can rebroadcast Great Classical Music without royalty or consideration. WCPE is one of the first public broadcasters to stream on the Internet. WCPE is heard worldwide on the Internet in multiple formats, including the next generation IPv6. Because WCPE receives no tax-derived support, the station conducts two on-air fundraising campaigns and two major mail-out campaigns per year to raise needed operating funds. Quarter Notes, the WCPE Program Guide, is published four times a year as a means to enhance appreciation and understanding of classical music. It is distributed to station supporters and is also available online at TheClassicalStation.Org/guide. For more information, visit TheClassicalStation.Org or call 800-556-5178.