Grateful Dread Public Radio, along with Live365, the SaveNetRadio coalition and Internet radio stations throughout the US, will be participating in the national Day of Silence on Tuesday, June 26.
On June 26, from 6 a.m until 3 a.m. Eastern time GDPR will go (essentially) silent. Those who tune in via the free link will be redirected to a Day of Silence stream that offers an explanation for the programming interruption, broadcaster testimonials and a call to action. Live365 VIP listeners will receive a Day of Silence public service announcement.
Obviously, we don’t like taking our programming off the air, so why are we doing this? It’s because drastic steps must be taken to protect the existence of Internet radio from pernicious forces that seek to silence us permanently. On July 15th, the Copyright Royalty Board’s crippling new royalties rates (an increase of 300 percent retroactive to 2005!) and a brand-new (and grossly unfair) royalty payment structure go into effect. This extreme action — which is aimed almost totally toward netradio, which for whatever reason the terrrestrial-radio-supporting CRB and its ally, the RIAA, wish to destroy — will put the vast majority of Internet radio stations out of business. Many are calling July 15 the Day the Music Dies, but this is bigger than that: Yes, if the CRB and RIAA get their way, we will see the nuking of exposure for independent music artists — awful enough on its own — but also, we will lose access to independent news programming and to points of view largely excluded from mainstream media.
Good example: GDPR is the ONLY Baltimore-area source for valuable programming such as Democracy Now!, UNICEF Radio, Free Speech Radio News, and many more alternative-press shows. If the royalty rates are allowed to stand as is, that could end. Yes, management is considering a plan whereby we continue 24/7 with news/talk and interview programming, but we do not yet know if that will be feasible. And even so, we must stand with our netradio brethren to fight the forces of corporate greed.
Hence our participation in the Day of Silence. This event will bring much needed attention to the danger Internet radio is encountering. It will give listeners a taste of how July 16 will sound if the CRB wins. And it will allow us to provide listeners with information on how they can speak up to keep the unthinkable from occurring. (The short story: contact your senators and representatives and demand that they support S. 1353 and H.R. 2060.)
We apologize for any inconvenience to our loyal listeners and members, but this drastic step is necessary. Joining together with all other Internet radio stations for the June 26 Day of Silence, GDPR will show what Internet radio could become if things don’t change very quickly… SILENT.