Notes from a Linguistic Mystic

If you at all enjoy Internet Radio (whether it be through your browser, through the “Radio” tab in iTunes, or otherwise) and live in the United States, take action now before your favorite stations are silenced.

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America, a lobbying and legal attack-dog group representing major US music labels), has decided raise Internet Radio royalty rates so high that few, if any, independent internet radio stations will survive once these rates take effect in 18 days. This will give the RIAA-blessed stations a monopoly on your internet listening, help them to bury a lot of independent music, and, most importantly, allow them to arbitrarily bankrupt a lot of good companies full of people passionate about music.

Even if you’re just somebody interested in language, internet radio can be a very good thing. There are a number of Net Radio stations broadcasting music in languages other than English (some of it still controlled by RIAA labels), and for somebody learning a new language, nothing helps to reinforce like listening to music and broadcasts in it. Sadly, because of these changes, a lot of these multilingual and eclectic stations will be forced off the air.

So, if you’re at all passionate about internet radio, independent music, or stopping the Recording Industry’s monopolistic tactics, head over to SaveNetRadio, take a minute to call your Senators and Representative, or just spread awareness of this pending issue on your own site.

As somebody who produces and presents content online, issues like these are very important to me, and these people have my sympathy. Also, as an avid listener, I’d hate to see internet radio go silent for good.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and to help. We will now return to our regularly scheduled language analysis…

Post Date: June 26, 2007

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