If you turn on your favorite radio station or webcast Tuesday, June 26th, and you are surprised to hear nothing but dead-air, pure silence, be forewarned that it will not be technical difficulties you're experiencing. Rather, it will most likely be that your favorite webcast or radio station is participating in the national planned "day of silence" in protest of the new webcasting rates that look likely to go into effect within three weeks and, if so, will have serious consequences on streaming music online. As you already know, the future of Internet radio is in immediate danger because royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). So in protest, traditional and online radio stations are going silent. In addition to the 'silent-treatment' protest, some stations around the country, including WFMU in Jersey City, will make their protest by not going silent, but rather by boycotting all RIAA/Sound Exchange music and only playing indie artists outside the RIAA governed titles.
For more information about this important day of protest that will affect how we listen to new music in the future, visit here or SaveTheNet. To find out more about participating in the actual day of silence contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also many benefit events planned to help raise awareness, including one in San Francisco (home of numerous webcasters, including the wonderful, electronic music "extremely independent" SomaFM) at the Bottom of the Hill this Sunday (July 1st: 6PM-10PM) that is being organized by Reapandsow, SomaFM, SonicLiving, myopenbar.com, and BAGeL Radio. Meantime, you reading this should seriously consider calling your Congressional Representatives right now to voice your opinion on this important issue.