(College Music Journal) On June 26, Internet radio stations will observe a day of silence, shutting down regular programming to protest the Copyright Royalty Board's royalty increase, to be enforced July 15. Thousands of webcasters are slated to take part, such as Live365, KCRW, AccuRadio, as well as college stations like WUSC-FM, among others. The day of silence is aimed at showing their listeners and the community at large what it will sound like after the ruling. With the royalty increase exceeding 100 percent of most webcasters' total revenues, the majority of stations would be forced to shut down if the ruling is enforced.
The predominant portion of webcasters are planning to power down completely for the day of silence, while others are taking a different route. KCRW will produce "D-Day For Webcasters," a one-hour program with members of Pandora, Live 365, Yahoo! and BAGeL Radio joining KCRW general manager Ruth Seymour to discuss the effect of the new rates. Live365 and AccuRadio will cease all music programming while running brief audio PSAs that will be available for all webcasters to use at SaveNetRadio.org. The PSAs will be interspersed with sound effects that exemplify silence: surf noise, static and occasional bleeps.
This is not the first time that radio has tuned out. In 2002, a similar Day Of Silence was held to combat a ruling from the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel for small webcasters. The silence worked—shortly following, the Library Of Congress cut the rate and the Small Webcaster Settlement Act was passed.