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Sent on Mormon-News: 22May01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Radio 'Instrumental' Channel Suspended

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- One of the two channels in the LDS Radio Network, LDS Instrumental, has been temporarily suspended due to copyright concerns. These same concerns have shut down hundreds of on-line radio stations as broadcasters realize they may have to pay composers, artists, record labels and performers additional royalties for using their works on the Internet in addition to traditional broadcast media. LDS Instrumental broadcast music from several LDS record labels over the Internet and through digital satellite transmissions to cable TV systems that currently carry BYU-TV. Its sister-channel, LDS Radio, continues to broadcast, but could be affected in the future.

David Gray of, the LDS Church-owned non-profit company that provides LDS Radio, the website, the Internet provider and similar electronic products, told Mormon News today that he had shut down LDS Instrumental because of the confusing situation. In recent weeks, many radio stations that had broadcast their radio programming on the Internet have shut down their transmissions because of the problem.

Broadcaster Clear Channel Communications started the trend under pressure from its advertisers, who were faced with additional fees due to actors who worked in their radio commercials. Normally paid based on the size of the audience, the actors sought, and won in contract negotiations last Fall, payment for the broadcast of their work to the new Internet audience. In addition to Clear Channel Communications' more than 750 radio stations with Internet broadcasts, many other station owners, including LDS Church-owned Bonneville International's stations, such as Salt Lake City's KSL Radio, have suspended Internet broadcasts.

Other radio stations and networks, including those serviced by, have taken a different approach, instead removing ads from radio programming and replacing them with Internet-specific advertising. But this approach doesn't solve the entire problem, according to Mstar's Gray. He reports that for a broadcast, as many as three separate organizations in the US might need to be paid. Composers may need to be paid through their organization, ASCAP. Record Labels and artists may need to be paid through the RIAA, and actors and other vocal talent may need to be paid through AFTRA, their union. LDS Instrumental didn't even carry commercials, but Gray says it could still need to pay the composers, record labels, artists and others who produced the work it broadcasts.

The situation has frustrated broadcasters, who feel they are loosing a way to expand their audience before they could develop it. Darren Harle, co-founder and chief operating officer of, says that the actors are trying to get money that doesn't exist yet, because no one is making money on the Internet broadcasts. "Everybody still wants a piece of the Internet pie that doesn't exist yet," Harle told for an April 11th story. "The fact is that nobody is making additional revenue for on-air ads being rebroadcast over the Internet." This also means that there is no money to pay composers, record labels or artists for Internet broadcasts either.

But not everyone is at risk because of the practice., another Internet radio station aimed at LDS Church members, has approached record labels and artists directly for permission to broadcast their work. Since the nascent Internet radio station's broadcasts don't originate on traditional radio, it doesn't need to filter out commercials, nor do artists expect the same radio fees they might otherwise get.

Meanwhile, Gray says he expects the situation to be resolved in a few months -- or not at all. Clear Channel and other large groups of radio stations, including Bonneville, are at work on the problem, and expect to reach a compromise with actors, artists, labels and composers that will allow incremental broadcasts of radio programming.


Mormon News Interview with David Gray

When the Music's Over... 11Apr01 B3
By Clint Boulton


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