I’m officially infatuated with Invisible Radio, a sporadically broadcast webradio station that never fails to pump out lots of interesting sounds. Unfortunately, like lots of other online radio, they’ve been feeling the squeeze from new RIAA-sponsored legislation that would impose (retroactively!) a system of royalties from which traditional radio stations have always been exempted. The asymmetry means that if you’re a huge commercial media conglomerate capable of affording the equipment and negotiating the FCC labyrinth, you get to stream the tunes gratis. If you’re a DIY non-commercial broadcaster using the internet to share the kind of stuff that Clear Channel and other all-hits-all-the-time pap-pushers don’t often play… well, sorry, can’t have you cutting into Britney’s market share.
The silver lining is that Invisible Radio is now putting together playlists exclusively comprising songs put out by bands on non-RIAA indie labels, which means a significantly higher percentage of it is music I hadn’t previously been very familiar with. Anyway, they do link to this petition, if you’d like to encourage a more balanced licensing scheme for online radio.