Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Internet Radio Equality Act Update



A quick update on the internet radio royalty rate battle:
  • On 4/26/07 Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act (H.R. 2060), legislation that would keep internet radio alive and allow it to thrive. As of this week the bill has over 60 co-sponsors.
  • On 5/10/07 Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
Despite repeated misleading and false statements released to the press by SoundExchange, the vast majority of coverage has seen through the smoke. Editorial has been firmly on the side of small webcasters and internet radio in general.

The most recent misinformation efforts from SoundExchange attempt to portray the fight as artists (SoundExchange) against megacorporations (AOL, Yahoo!), but that bogus narrative has yet to gain any traction.

This all looks good for the future of internet radio. The one-sided victory handed to SoundExchange/The RIAA by the Copyright Royalty Board may prove in the long run to be a positive for webcasters. The CRB decision brought the webcasting community together. Webcasters discussed the issue and potential solutions and ultimately produced the Internet Radio Equality Act. If this act becomes law, it will finally leave internet radio on sound business footing after years of "gee, what will they decide to charge us for promoting their records next?"

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