New Internet Radio Rulings

Internet radio may be drastically affected by the recent government webcasting determination (www.copyright.gov/carp/webcasting_rates_final.html). On June 22nd the New York Times reported; "The U.S. Copyright Office decided Thursday to charge webcasters 70 cents per song heard by 1,000 listeners, or half of what a government panel had proposed in February…If the decision is not changed, the first monthly royalty payments will be due in November. The fees are retroactive to 1998 and full payment of royalties from past years will be due in October."

This ruling is seen as a serious blow to the internet radio broadcasting business. Most of these stations are run through donations. The New York Times said that "Webcasters, who have been slow to find advertisers despite drawing large audiences, had hoped that the rate would be set at a percentage of revenue, a move that they argued would allow them time to build a new outlet for music."

If you are interested in listening to streaming audio, live365.com is a great place to start. You can browse by genre or search by artist. Live 365 offers extensive choices in most categories. The downside is the number of pop-up browser windows that are generated by advertising. For a small subscription fee you can eliminate this.

[email protected] offers at least 120 radio stations to choose from. You can search through the stations by category. They also offer listening specials and mp3 downloads for as little as 99 cents. Clicking on "Songs, Videos and More" brings you to AOL Music, where you can search by artist and listen to music.

Real.com is another place to go in search of music. Their media player is widely used. Open their player (freely available on their website) and choose view, radio. A page of radio choices comes up, offering anything from National Public Radio and BBC to Alternative Rock and World Music.

Shoutcast.com is also a great place to listen to music. Using the freely available Winamp player, you can browse myriads of radio stations, both commercial broadcast stations and private "mixes".

With the increase of DSL and cable internet access, computers continue to expand their function. Government copyright rulings will affect the way in which much of the media reaches us. Streaming video and downloading DVDs to watch on the computer are just around the corner.


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