Report: Coalition to Push Internet Radio Royalty Bill
Clear Channel, Salem Communications, Pandora and the Consumer Electronics Association are among the founding members of the newly-formed Internet Radio Fairness Coalition, reports National Journal/Tech Daily Dose blog. The Coalition will encourage lawmakers to pass legislation that would require the same royalty standard to be used for Internet radio services as is used for cable and satellite music providers.
"Legislation that establishes a fair royalty rate setting-standard for Internet radio will drive investment in webcasting, which ultimately offers greater opportunities and more revenue for working artists," said Pandora founder Tim Westergren.
The Internet Radio Fairness Coalition will push lawmakers to pass legislation introduced last month in the House by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Jared Polis (R-CO) and in the Senate by Ron Wyden (D-OR) that would require the Copyright Royalty Board to use the same standard.
The Tech Daily Dose says Pandora and traditional radio outlets that simulcast music over the Internet complain that they pay much higher royalty rates than cable and satellite music providers. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has been working on draft legislation that would require broadcasters to pay higher royalties when they play music on the Internet to make up for not paying fees to performers when playing their music over traditional terrestrial radio.
"We believe that market-based solutions are the way to go," Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman said in a statement. "But in the absence of these agreements, the [Copyright Royalty Board] needs to have and consider more relevant information so they are better able to develop a rate structure that will lead to a healthy, sustainable Internet radio marketplace."
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the issue of music royalty fees later this fall when Congress returns after the November election. (10-25-12)
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