One of the great jazz clarinet artists of all time, Michael White was one our experts at our "Carnival of Knowledge" convention in Estes Park, Colorado 35 years ago...It's great to see he is still out there cooking, and, instead of being on the side of the RIAA record companies, told Congress that resonable rates for internet radio were key to saving jazz.  Ann Brown of DIMA sent us this press release this morning...

Jazz Clarinetist Dr. Michael White Calls on
Congress to Save Internet Radio


Internet Radio Key to Future of Jazz

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Michael White, 2008 winner of the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, visited Members of Congress today to request support for Internet radio. Citing the vital role Internet radio plays in promoting jazz, Dr. White asked Members of Congress to pass the Internet Radio Equality Act, which would set a fair royalty rate and allow the medium to grow and more artists to reach more fans.

“Jazz is an important part of our national heritage, and at a time when traditional jazz is being played less on broadcast radio, Internet radio has become increasingly important,” said New Orleans jazz clarinetist Dr. Michael White. “Internet radio is connecting millions of jazz fans with the music and musicians they love, and driving greater appreciation and sales.  Congress needs to recognize Internet radio's cultural value, and act quickly to prevent Internet radio from disappearing under the pressure of unfairly high royalty rates.”

In March 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent, putting the future of the industry in jeopardy. The Internet Radio Equality Act - H.R. 2060 and S. 1353 – would establish a revenue-based royalty rate of 7.5% of annual revenue, which is comparable to the royalty rate currently paid by satellite radio. More than 150 Members of Congress have cosponsored this legislation, and yet it still has not received a hearing.

“Dr. White is a tremendous musician and a compelling spokesperson for Internet radio,” stated Jonathan Potter, Executive Director of the Digital Media Association. “He knows, as an ambassador for jazz and the city of New Orleans, that Internet radio is crucial for artists who will find an audience online and develop the next generation of jazz fans. Dr. White’s dedication to New Orleans musicians and to preserving jazz as part of our national heritage is extraordinary, and we hope his voice was heard today on Capitol Hill.”

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