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New Bill In House Hopes To Save Internet Radio Broadcasting

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 27April07

Radio And Internet Newsletter aka RAIN reports today that a bill has been introduced into the house by Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) that shows hope for indpendent internet radio broadcasting. It is titled The Internet Radio Equality Act and covers the following aspects :

The bill has five major provisions:

  1. Nullifies the recent decision of the CRB judges
  2. Changes the royalty rate-setting standard that applies to Internet radio royalty arbitrations in the future so that it is the same standard that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations — the 801(b)(1) standard that balances the needs of copyright owners, copyright users, and the public (rather than “willing buyer / willing seller”). (For more detail on this point, read the recent RAIN issue on “Copyright law,” here.)
  3. Instructs future CRBs that the minimum annual royalty per service may be set no higher than $500.
  4. Establishes a “transitional” royalty rate, until the 2011-15 CRB hearing is held, of either .33 cents per listener hour, or 7.5% of annual revenues, as selected by the provider for that year. Those rates would be applied retroactively to January 1, 2006. (The logic behind this rate, incidentally, is an attempt to match the royalty rate that satellite radio pays for this royalty — thus the name of the bill.)
  5. Expands the Copyright Act’s Section 118 musical work license for noncommercial webcasters to enable noncomms to also perform sound recordings over Internet radio at royalty rates designed for noncommercial entities, and sets an transition royalty at 150% of the royalty amount paid by each webcaster in 2004. (Note that this amount would be a set, flat fee through the end of the decade.)

For future CRBs (e.g., 2011-15), adds three new reports in the CRB process: The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information will submit a report to the CRB judges on the industry impact in terms of competitiveness of the judges’ proposed rates; at the same time, the FCC will submit a report to the CRB judges on the effects of the judges’ proposed rates on localism, diversity of programming, and competitive barriers to entry; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will submit a report to Congress and the CRB judges on the effect of the the judges’ proposed rates on their licencees.

RAIN’s webpage is much more informative, as it has links sprinkled throughout these provisions. RAIN also points out :

Now that the bill has been introduced, the SaveNetRadio.org “call to action” is specific and direct: The site is now asking listeners to call their Representative and ask him/her to “cosponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act, introduced by Representative Jay Inslee.” Once listeners click the “Call Your Representatives” button on the site and enter their zip code, they are given their Representative’s House office phone number and a list of “talking points” to emphasize.

Please click over to RAIN’s webpage for more information. They have a pdf version of the entire Act, as well as more coverage and suggestions for how you can participate.

One thing you can do is call your Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. Hit Save Net Radio to get your Rep’s phone number.

International Listeners

If you reside outside the US (lucky you!) you can still help keep internet radio from being crushed by this BS. Join SaveNetRadio’s coalition! Click Coalition to find out how.

 

 

SaveNetRadio.org

MORE LINKS

http://www.savenetradio.org/index.html
http://www.kurthanson.com/

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