I plugged my earphones into my computer today and typed in my recently re-discovered favorite Internet radio site, Pandora.com.
The screen that usually pops up, displaying my favorite radio stations, custom tailored to my likes, was replaced with a disheartening message from Pandora’s creator, Tim Westergren.
It reads: “I’m sorry to say that today Pandora…is going off the air in observance of a Day of Silence.”
My first thought was “Oh no, what happened?”
I read on to discover it was a protest to a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board on Internet radio and the royalties that they pay to the music industry. Internet radio sites are going to have to pay between 300 and 1,200 percent more.
That would drive many, if not all, off the Internet’s radio waves.
I was in shock. Not everyone can have their iPod with them or carry their CD collection around to work. Internet radio provided that free service.
Now, it could go away forever.
So instead of discovering new artists on Pandora, I had to listen to the deafening silence of protest.
That, and the never ending rain beating on the window behind me.
– J Wofford