Webcast royalty ruling has isle casualty
THE music has stopped at one Hawaii-based Internet radio station in response to a federal ruling that increases royalty rates.
Pioneering Internet Radio Hawaii at IRH.com doesn't play music any more, though founder Robert "Rabbett" Abbett* still provides daily news updates and photo essays from treks around the island.
He declined comment publicly for the column, as did most of the isle music Webcasters contacted by TheBuzz.
The U.S. Copyright Royalty Board last month issued a schedule of royalty rates for Internet radio that will raise rates retroactively from 2006 through 2010. The 1999-2005 rate was 0.000762 cents per performance (of a song). The new rate schedule would take the rates up to 0.0008 cents for 2006 and up to 0.0019 cents in 2010 -- a 149 percent increase over the 1995-2005 period.
Webcasters would also be assessed $500 per channel and would have to provide detailed metrics quantifying listenership, which small operators say they have no way of doing.
Webcasters have asked the board to reconsider its rate determination.
Hawaii's other over-the- Ethernet-radio pioneer, L.D. Reynolds of Maui, could not be reached. His Hawaiian Hits Live! station is still strumming away on the 'Net.
John Baxter started UkeFarm Radio on Live365.com last July. He said via e-mail that he funds it with his own money.
"I intend to continue broadcasting as long as I can afford it," he said.
His current plan with Live 365, which costs $14.95 a month, does not allow him to accept advertising, but said if the fees increase, he may solicit donations.
He has purchased his library of CDs, thus resulting in royalty payments to record companies, composers and artists, and will continue to expand his selection to accommodate multiple playlists, he said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org