DiMA Lauds House Bill To Save Internet Radio
Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Donald Manzullo (R-IL) introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act, a bill intended to save thousands of webcasters from bankruptcy that will otherwise occur when new royalty rates go into effect on May 15.
A Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) March 2 ruling raised Internet radio's royalty burden - retroactive to January 2006 -by 300 to 1200 percent. Without congressional intervention most webcasters will be bankrupted by these royalties.
The Internet Radio Equality Act would:
1. Annul the CRB decision and set royalty rates at 7.5% of revenues - the same rate that satellite radio pays - for 2006-2010; and
2. Change the rate-setting standard currently used by the CRB to determine Internet radio royalties, and substitute the standard that applies to most other statutory licenses, including satellite radio, jukeboxes and sound recordings.
Jonathan Potter, executive director of DiMA, released this statement:
"This bill may be Internet radio's last best hope. The Internet Radio Equality Act sets a new standard for setting royalty rates that will level the playing field for Internet radio, avoid unfair bankruptcies that eliminate royalties currently being paid to recording artists and record companies, and removes the unfair advantage enjoyed by our competitors in the satellite radio community.
"Internet radio provides an outlet for music innovation and creativity for millions of listeners every day. It benefits the thousands of artists who are finding new fans online through streams previously unavailable. We are hopeful that Congress will move forward quickly to enact this groundbreaking legislation - and offer a lifeline to the industry."
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» DiMA Lauds House Bill To Save Internet Radio