First let’s get something straight. The Copyright Royalty Board decision that will crush such services as Pandora has nothing to do with the the royalties that composers and songwriters receive via the performance rights groups like ASCAP and BMI. Those services have negotiated rates with Internet radio providers — there are even podcaster rates. The issue is detailed in a comprehensive article in today’s Wall Street Journal. It increases (in many cases, to a level that is higher than their revenues) a fee that regular radio stations do not have to pay but that is required from those who stream music on the Internet. In Nashville, some groups often cloak themselves in the plight of independent songwriters and composers when protesting anything related to the Internet and music. It is important that songwriters and composers understand this issue, because this is not about performance rights, but, rather, copyright royalties. For example, NPR stations, that don’t have to pay this fee for their FM and AM stations, are required to pay it for their Internet streams. The linked article is a must read for anyone who enjoys what may be the final days of Internet radio that includes music.