[JPL] New Net radio rules draw fire on Capitol Hill

Lazaro Vega wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 13:19:25 EST 2007


(Copy of letter sent to Congressman Markey via his web site. Also
phoned his office with thanks).

Thank you Congressman Markey for your advocacy of more intelligent
rules and fees for Internet web streaming services.

I'm the Jazz Director at Blue Lake Public Radio (www.bluelake.org) and
the over regulations of programming content in the DMCA -- where you
may only play 4 pieces by the same artist in the a 3 hour period --
makes it impossible to broadcast a radio program which gives the
listener a true idea of the depth and scope of Duke Ellington's
contribution to American culture, for instance. It isn't just
Ellington, though, it is the entire 78 rpm era, the Swing Era, which
is forgotten in this legislation. Of course that was America's
greatest musical era. What's ironic is that music from the 1920's and
1930's has survived every technological advancement known to modern
man starting with acoustic recording, then electric recording, then
radio, then long playing microgroove recordings and on and on -- even
digital audio tape. But it managed to stay connected to the people, to
the music's audience. The DMCA programming regulations separate the
music from anyone interested in hearing it in depth via the web. Depth
is what educational, non-commercial programming provides. Yet that
strength isn't allowed on the web stream, not without the work of
getting web stream waivers from the copyright holders. However the
majority of labels who hold the rights to the 78 rpm era won't sign.
They say to block the stream when doing that kind of programming.
Keeping the music from the audience is antithetical to a radio
station's mission.

In any case, thank you for your advocacy of something other than the
profit motive. Radio is about connecting with people's imaginations,
not their wallet. The rules overlook the fact that people use the
radio to listen to music and that listening and purchasing are two
separate activities. The way the web streams are being regulated it is
as if each listener is using the stream as a delivery system for
purchasing music, and that's a fundamental mis-reading of the
audience.

Of course broadcasters should pay to be on the web -- that's not the
issue. The issue is fairness and, especially, keeping the audience in
mind. It's the only way music will stay "on the air."

Thanks again,

Lazaro Vega
Jazz Director
Blue Lake Public Radio
300 East Crystal Lake Road
Twin Lake MI 49457

WBLV FM 90.3/WBLU FM 88.9
www.bluelake.org


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