On Friday March 2nd, the U.S. government (specifically, the Copyright Royalty Board, or "CRB") announced its determination of the royalty rates Internet radio webcasters must pay the owners of sound recording copyrights to license the music they play for the years 2006-2010. The owners of these sound recording copyrights are, in the vast majority of cases, recording companies ("labels").
While successful webcasters which have built loyal audiences can usually cover most of their costs from their revenue (and sometimes even make a little profit), these new rates will almost certainly destroy the Internet radio industry, as they amount to well over 100% of even the most-successful webcasters' online radio revenues. In other words, these fees are grotesquely disproportionate to any other expense a webcaster would normally face, and certain to bankrupt him or her. [via savethestreams.org]
As the Pandora blog post suggest sign the petition and check more about the issue.