Recent royalty hikes on internet radio broadcasts have lit a fire of hate under the hot little buns of…NPR? Yes, National Public Radio is pissed. From a statement from the Communication VP of NPR Andi Sporkin (emphasis added):
“This is a stunning, damaging decision for public radio and its commitment to music discovery and education, which has been part of our tradition for more than half a century. Public radio’s agreements on royalties with all such organizations, including the RIAA, have always taken into account our public service mission and non-profit status. These new rates, at least 20 times more than what stations have paid in the past, treat us as if we were commercial radio – although by its nature, public radio cannot increase revenue from more listeners or more content, the factors that set this new rate. Also, we are being required to pay an internet royalty fee that is vastly more expensive than what we pay for over-the-air use of music, although for a fraction of the over-the-air audience.
Keep reading it gets meaner…
“This decision penalizes public radio stations for fulfilling their mandate, it penalizes emerging and non-mainstream musical artists who have always relied on public radio for visibility and ultimately it penalizes the American public, whose local station memberships and taxes will be necessary to cover the millions of dollars that will now be required as payment. On behalf of the public radio system, NPR will pursue all possible action to reverse this decision, which threatens to severely reduce local stations’ public service and limit the reach of the entire music community. NPR will begin on Friday, March 16 by filing a petition for reconsideration with the CRB panel, the first step in this process. We ask that the online royalties be returned to their historic arrangement and that public radio can continue to provide its vital service to music discovery.”
Can we get a “Team NPR” T-shirt? —MEGHANN MARCO
UPDATE: Reader Darren made “Team NPR” shirts on Cafepress. He says he’s charging the lowest amount, so only Cafepress makes a profit. No money goes to NPR, it’s just funny. We thank him for his hilarity.
NPR may lead fight against Internet radio royalty rate hike [Chicago Tribune]