Clear Channel and NPR hold hands
Yesterday, lawmakers introduced a bill intended to prevent the drastic increase in royalty payments targeted at internet radio in the coming months. The "Internet Radio Equality Act," introduced by Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL), would overturn a ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board which by some estimates could result in fee increases on Internet radio operators ranging from 300 to 1200 percent between 2006 and 2012 driving popular internet radio sites like Pandora out of business. Naturally, this fee increase is opposed by NPR, Clear Channel, Pandora and pretty much everyone else with a soul. Keep your fingers crossed slobsters!
In somewhat related news, a federal court ruled Wednesday that there is no artist performance right in a digital download. Royalty collection agency ASCAP (to whom radio stations, bars, and coffee shops shell out fees to play their music, spawning the creation of Muzak) had been lobbying hard for the royalty right, which up until now had been overlooked. This ruling could have a serious effect on the future of music, effecting the bottom-line of many artists and music providers. But, it'll probably be appealed anyway.
story 1 via Benton Foundation
Story 2 via Digital Music News
See also SaveNetRadio.org