Internet Radio Legislation Now in Senate

Today, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) introduced legislation that is the Senate counterpart to the “Internet Radio Equality Act” (H.R. 2060). This is a positive development for those who are concerned about the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to raise the royalty rates webcasters pay to stream sound recordings on the Internet. The new rates promise to shut down most webcasters and threaten the diversity of music we now enjoy on the Internet. The senators’ legislation, like the Internet Radio Equality Act, nullifies the CRB’s decision and proposes a royalty payment scheme that would not bankrupt a vibrant and growing industry.
On the House side today, The Internet Radio Equality Act picked up 12 more co-sponsors bringing the total to 64.
For more information, visit Radio and Internet Newsletter and

Internet Radio Gets a Bit of a Reprieve

Yesterday, we finally got some news that was good regarding the copyright royalty rates to be paid by Internet radio stations. The Copyright Royalty Board decided to extend the deadline for paying the rates until July 15, 2007. The original due date was May 15, 2007.
As noted in my earlier post, the new rates (which are retroactive to January 2006) are much higher than previous rates and will prove disastrous for many webcasters. Quite a few operations will find they owe many times more than their actual revenue and will have to stop streaming on the Internet. The loss of variety of programming that we now enjoy on the Web will necessarily follow, and that’s bad for everyone; the artists, the record companies, the webcasters, and most of all the public.
Fortunately, the deadline extension gives democracy a chance to work. The “Internet Radio Equality Act” (H.R. 2060), which undoes the Copyright Royalty Board’s new rate structure, and puts in place safeguards for non-commercial webcasters, will have more time to wind its way through the legislative process and possibly even pass before July 15th.
To find out more, read my earlier blog post. If you want to weigh in on the issue, contact your congressman and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.R. 2060.