Here’s some maybe good news: Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and eight co-sponsors have introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act, which has several major provisions:
- Nullifies the recent decision of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) judges.
- Changes the Internet royalty rate-setting standard so that it’s the same as the one that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations.
- Instructs future CRBs that the minimum annual royalty per service may be set no higher than $500.
- Establishes a “transitional” royalty rate.
- Expands the Copyright Actâ€™s Section 118 musical work license for noncommercial webcasters.
- For future CRBs, adds three new reports in the CRB process. (Full details here.)
As noted last week, the CRB ruling effectively ends Net radio if it’s allowed to stand, and that’s an outcome that benefits the RIAA, the major labels, the whores at Clear Channel, and precisely nobody else. It’s bad for all artists and represents a terribly regressive proposition for the public and our cultural landscape.The Net broadcasters aren’t trying to shirk their responsibility to compensate artists, they just need the rate to fair so they can stay on the air.
Let’s get behind this one, people.