Internet radio in immanent danger?

According to this story (via slashdot), some regulatory board that I’ve never heard of has handed down some ruling which, if it stands, could be the death knell of internet radio (or a t least of internet radio that originates in countries that adhere to this regime?).

As I type this I’m listening to the fantastic (OpenLaszlo application)Pandora — an internet radio station that astoundingly accounts for more than 1% of all internet traffic (??? can this be so???). I also listen to a lot of college radio stations streaming on the net.

Is this mavevlous technology about to be taken away from us by the RIAA goons? I don’t pretend to understand the legal, political, or technical issues. An opinion from Mr. Feld is clearly in order. What’s the word, Harold? Should I be panicking?


  1. This makes me want to scream AIAE!

    AIAE(TM) is, of course, the Asshole Industry Association of Everywhere(TM): a new trade organization I’ve formed. From now on all assholes owe our group 1 cent per hour. Initially. Asshole costs are rising, and our fee will increase over time.

    Why? Because I said so. Go find your own idea. This one’s mine. Well, it’s the RIAA’s actually, but I’m certainly not going to pay them.

    America is seeing a sharp increase in assholes. Politicians. Lawyers. My neighbor with the pruning shears. And of course, the RIAA. We expect the number of assholes worldwide to increase as more people “choose” to adopt our beliefs. I mean of course, America’s beliefs. Sure to produce assholes.

    Don’t laugh! This is a serious problem! Many assholes traffic in filth that should be seen as obscene by decent people. Many are involved in crimes, or what would be criminal acts if our group has any say. And we will, I assure you.

    Anyway, it’s important that we stop such behavior by forcing people to pay us. Our membership consists of those companies that profit from assholes, such as the media and weapons manufacturers. It takes a lot of money and considerable bad behavior to get even assholes to buy our members’ products! Unlike every other industry, our members simply don’t want to pay the ordinary costs of doing business, so we have no choice but to charge the assholes! After all this is capitalism. (Well, actually it’s communism, but who’s defining the terms here?) Anyway, why should the assholes get a free ride on our members’ hard-earned profits?

    In addition, we also pay a nominal fee (e.g., a whole dollar) to the original creators of the asshole behavior. Unfortunately, many such creative people are part of the cultural underground, or at least not on the A-List and therefore not in our Blackberries(TM). So we cannot possibly be expected to track them down and pay them. But in principle, we support creativity, and reward it with the only thing that matters. An asshole surcharge.

    Keep America Free! Support the AIAE(TM)! Turn in your neighbor!

  2. An asshole tariff! No one can be an asshole without paying the AIAE! Send your checks c/o the Wetmachine paypal button! Do it now!

  3. My very brief examination of this is that it’s fairly serious and has devestating impact on local community-based radio stations. They will basically need to stop streaming.

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