Monday, April 16, 2007

Laissez-faire or just L-A-Z-Y?

Below is a email I composed to my Congressmen. It concerns the recent news that the recording industry's governing body (self-regulated, I believe) is going to hike rates in a prohibitive way for online radio stations.

Dear Congressmen,

I urge your attention to the recent decision of the Copyright Royalty Board to retroactively apply exorbitant new per listener rates on internet music. These rates are irrational as to internet radio which is a medium that will be necessary for furture growth for the music industry. The music industry no doubt struggles to adapt to the modern formats and a shift away from traditional packaging of its products (i.e., cd's, tapes, records). Nevertheless, this group has targeted an irrational industry (internet radio) that will have the effect of harming consumers like me who enjoy a wealth of information and sampling of new music.

Online radio has induced an abundance of music purchases from myself and like-minded consumers. These sales were generated by industry-partnered downloading services, such as Real Networks based upon my listening to "free" online radio which the industry now targets. If the decision by the Copyright Board proceeds without intervention, quality and variety will be harmed. Marketplace choice would be diminshed, until such a time as the Record industry regains its touch with reality and learns that online radio FOSTERS sales of music in the long-run. Let's prevent this vicious cycle of adjustment by checking this decision at the onset.