Internet radio broadcasters were dealt a major setback on Monday, as judges of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rejected appeals of a March 2 CRB decision that more than doubles the fees that webcasters must pay to record companies and other copyright holders to stream music online. Supporters of the webcasting industry warn that the new fee schedule—which is scheduled to go into effect on May 15 and apply retroactively to songs played since January 1, 2006—could strike a fatal blow to Internet radio services, which, with an estimated audience of 50 million listeners, are emerging as a competitive alternative to over-the-air radio broadcasts. Denying motions for rehearing, the CRB also refused to delay the effective date of the new fee structure pending an anticipated industry appeal, observing that “Congress, not the judges, determined the effective dates for the royalty rates and terms the judges established.” At the urging of webcasters, the CRB did grant one concession, agreeing to extend for the remainder of this year the current system of basing fee calculations upon average listening hours. Starting next year, however, webcasters will be required to calculate royalty fees on a per-song, per-listener basis. Vowing to take their fight to Congress, the Digital Media Association, a coalition consisting of America Online, Yahoo, and other major web groups, said it was “encouraged by the support coming from artists, labels, music retailers, music fans and others who are joining this campaign and creating a loud, unified voice to tell members of Congress that they must not let May 15 be ‘the day the music died.’”