More details on the fight against the new, bad deal for webcasters: On June 26, thousands of Internet radio stations will go silent for twenty-four hours to protest a recently announced hike in the royalty rates they pay to play music on their sites. If the new rates -- which will be more than double the current rates for webcasters -- go into effect as scheduled on July 15th, many stations say they'll have no choice but to shut down. Leading the fight against the ruling is the SaveNetRadio Coalition, which includes large webcasters like Rhapsody, Yahoo! and Pandora, as well as dozens of smaller ones. "The arbitrary and drastic rate increases... threaten the very livelihood of thousands of webcasters and their millions of listeners," says Jake Ward, a spokesperson for the organization.
While most stations will refrain from playing anything on Tuesday, others will devote the day to anti-shutdown programming. KCRW, L.A.'s National Public Radio affiliate, will stream a 60-minute special "D-Day For Webcasters" every hour at KCRW.com and on the airwaves at 2pm.