The station will join other Webcasters in a Day of Silence next Tuesday to protest higher music royalties for Internet radio that were approved by the little-known Copyright Royalty Board in March. Regular programming on all three of KCRW's music Webstreams will be shut down (although the broadcast portion of the station itself will stay on). The new payments amount to less than 1.8 cents per listener per hour (rising to 3 cents in 2010), which doesn't sound like much unless the Webcaster is small or non-commercial. KCRW listeners have been hearing General Manager Ruth Seymour go on (and on) about the need to write Washington and complain. There's Congressional legislation being considered and appeals have been filed in U.S. District Court, but as it stands, Webcasters will have to start shelling out payments on July 15 to Sound Exchange, the non-profit organization created by the Recording Industry Association of America to collect royalties.
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