Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998.
One of the provisions of this law requires that "webcasters" (like WPR) pay licensing fees to record
companies. The intent of this provision was to prevent unauthorized downloading of music and to
determine royalties to be paid recording artists for their creations. WPR agrees with the intent
of the DMCA but does take issue with other provisions that appear to unfairly penalize Public
In November of 2001, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and
National Public Radio (NPR) entered into an agreement (on behalf of public radio stations) with the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to set criteria for the streaming of music on the
This agreement has had significant and unanticipated consequences for
public radio stations that provide Internet streaming of their broadcasts. There are numerous
restrictions affecting all aspects of presenting music recordings on the Internet. These
restrictions include the prohibition of publication of music listings in advance of broadcasts.
Public broadcasters continue to work to challenge some provisions of this law.
It is our hope that future remedy, fair to Internet
programming providers, recording artists, and listeners will be forthcoming.
We share the frustration that WPR's loyal listeners are feeling and we
are doing everything we can to provide the best possible service while complying with the law.
We will keep you informed of future development and, in the meantime, your patience, understanding
and support are greatly appreciated.