Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell dead at 73

Just reading this article on Yahoo regarding the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Personally, I reviled Falwell. He was a hateful, bigoted blowhard who appealed to the worst of ignorance in American culture to inflate his viewership and line his pockets using misogyny, homophobia, and religious divisiveness.

In no small sense, the debacle in Iraq and deaths of over 3000 of our soldiers can be laid directly at the feet of these despicable television preachers.

But strange as it seems to say, we will miss him. In life, Falwell had almost singlehandedly made himself and his sorry crusade against his fellow Americans a laughing stock. By his own words and deeds, he did more to discredit the Religious Right than any critic on the other side could have. As the saying goes, had he not existed, we would have had to invent him.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

New, improved legislation on Internet Radio??

I received this email today from Joe Lieberman, US Senator from Connecticut regarding an internet petition I signed. Seems to indicate there's action to reverse the penal charges that were going to be levied on Internet radio stations.

May 10, 2007 Mr. Joseph Cascio, Jr.

Dear Mr. Cascio: Thank you for contacting me regarding the Copyright Royalty Board's decision with respect to royalty rates for webcasters. I appreciate the concerns you raised about this decision. You may be interested to know that in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act (H.R. 2060). H.R. 2060 effectively voids the Copyright Royalty Board's decision and sets new rates for the royalties to be paid by Internet radio stations. Specifically, H.R. 2060 states that commercial Internet radio stations instead pay one of two royalty rates for the next five years, to be determined by the station itself, as follows: 1. 0.33 cents per hour of sound recordings transmitted to a single listener; or 2. 7.5 percent of the revenues received by the provider during that year that are directly related to the provider's digital transmissions of sound recordings. H.R. 2060 also alters the formula for determining the royalty payments for non-commercial Internet radio stations so that these stations will pay lower rates than those determined by the Royalty Board.

For more information on this topic, I encourage you to visit the federal resources section of my web site at http://lieberman.senate.gov/issues/resources/, where you will find a "Congressional Research Service" link to a collection of informative and research documents prepared by the Library of Congress. A report entitled "Statutory Royalty Rates for 'Small' Webcasters: Decision of the Copyright Royalty Board" has been made available, which I hope you find helpful.

A companion version of H.R. 2060 has not yet been introduced in the Senate at this time. However, please be assured that I will keep your views in mind should legislation on this subject come before the full Senate for debate. To keep track of actions on specific legislation, you can go to the "Bill Tracking" service at http://lieberman.senate.gov/issues/resources. My official Senate web site is designed to be an on-line office that provides access to constituent services, Connecticut-specific information, and an abundance of information about what I am working on in the Senate on behalf of Connecticut and the nation.

[...]Thank you again for letting me know your views and concerns. Please contact me if you have any additional questions or comments about our work in Congress. Sincerely, Joseph I. Lieberman UNITED STATES SENATOR