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Internet radio is dead for today; democracy, on the other hand...

Internet radio might die soon, assuming the current fees that go into place next month aren't re-evaluated.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

In case you've haplessly been attempting to listen to Internet radio streams throughout the day, you might have noticed most are dead. This is by no means a fluke, and on a wider scale, it's a mass protest to the royalty rate increase that passed legislation in early March. The rate increase, which gives the RIAA (whose Web site is coincidentally down today) more money for every track served to listeners, has been the focus of much debate and controversy. The new fees go into effect July 15th.

The new fees don't just affect the smaller broadcasters though; even large Internet radio providers such as Yahoo simply can't generate enough ad revenue to break even, and they've said they'll call it quits if it becomes a loss-leader.

Interestingly enough, Last.fm, one of the more high-profile social music services out there isn't participating today, although they've listed their reasons on their blog.

For Internet radio enthusiasts out there, or anyone else who disagrees with the legislation, they can visit the SaveNetRadio Coalition's site to find resources for getting in touch with their congressional representatives. There's also a full listing of participating Webcasters and Internet radio stations here.

See also:
Music industry offers deal to small Webcasters (CNET News.com)
Internet Radio Dies Today (Frantic Industries)
Good for Yahoo, And Everyone Else Except Last.fm (TechCrunch)
and related TechMeme Stories