This letter was sent to John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) -- chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees...

“Dear Chairman Conyers and Chairman Leahy:

“We are writing to request your leadership and urge your support to help save
diversity and music on the Internet. As serious jazz, blues, and gospel
musicians, we are extremely concerned that the recent decision by the
Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) will take us one step closer to silencing the
next generation of artists. If Internet radio dies, the next Coltrane, Monk,
or James may never be broadcast and their music never heard. Internet radio
is a beacon for “non-mainstream" music; in fact, 37% of music broadcast on
the Internet is from independent artists and labels, as opposed to 5% on
traditional broadcast radio. We need Internet radio.

“And yet, the CRB just increased sound recording royalty rates for Internet
radio by 300 to 1200 percent, and this causes us great distress. For most of
these webcasters, the new royalty rates will exceed their revenues and they
will have no choice but to let the music die. Literally. Chairman Conyers and
Chairman Leahy, please do not let that happen.

“As you know, broadcast radio pays no royalties to recording artists; only
Internet radio and satellite radio pay recording artists. Perhaps more
importantly, broadcast radio plays so little jazz, blues and gospel music
that Internet radio is, in many places the ONLY way we can introduce our
music to new audiences.

“As artists we value our own music and others' music, and royalties are
important. But if those royalties are so high that it bankrupts the very
services that play the most jazz, blues and Gospel then those radio services
will disappear and we all suffer. As a culture, our nation stands to be
deprived of our brightest outlet for the next generation of new music - of
all kinds.

“Please think how our uniquely American music would be different today if
those rural and poor radio stations that lost money playing Armstrong and
Ledbelly were taxed so exorbitantly that they were forced NOT to play their
music. That is exactly what we are facing today. We respectfully request that
Congress take action to prevent the demise of Internet radio. The new
royalties go into effect July 15 so there is very little time; we hope you
will help.

Sincerely yours,

Kermit Ruffins Dr. Michael White Trumpeter Hot 8 Brass Band

Derek Shezbie ReBirth Brass Band

Bennie Pete Hot 8 Brass Band

Edward Kidd Jordan Director, Heritage School of Music Director, Louis
Armstrong Jazz Camp

Marlon Jordan Trumpet

Bennie Jones Leader, Treme Brass Band

Troy “Trombone Shorty" Andrews Leader, Orleans Avenue

Big Chief Al Doucette Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indian tribe

David Freedman General Manager, WWOZ

John Boutte The New Orleans Social Club

Lee Arnold Director, Save Our Brass

James Andrews Leader, Crescent City AllStars

Ariana Hall The CubaNolaCollective

Sylvester Francis Director, Backstreet Museum

Jackie Harris Director, Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp

Todd Duke Crescent City AllStars

Mario Madero SpyBoy Productions"
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