[…]But all of Pandora’s lobbying in support for the bill has antagonized musicians, and lawmakers. If it’s not careful, industry insiders said, Pandora could end up jeopardizing their business. read more
[this post by Communications Associate Kevin Erickson and Communications Intern Oliva Brown]
There were several surprises in store at the November 27, 2012 House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet hearing “Music Licensing Part One: Legislation in the 112th Congress.” The first surprise was that the main bill under question — the Internet Radio Fairness Act, introduced by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) — had been renamed. IRFA, which argues that royalty rates for webcasters should be calculated using the same standard that is currently applied to satellite radio, was now rechristened “Internet Radio Freedom Act.” While slapping the word “freedom” on anything and everything is a longstanding Washington tradition, it also had the unfortunate side-effect of underscoring a key criticism of IRFA: that the bill would almost certainly result in a steep cut to artist payouts from services such as Pandora, something many artists see as anything but fair.
But the biggest surprise was that the topic du jour turned out to be another longstanding point of contention in the broadcasting realm: the lack of a terrestrial radio performance right in the United States. Meaning, good-old fashioned radio still does not compensate performers and sound copyright owners even though digital broadcasters do. (So does the rest of the industrialized world; for more information, check out our Public Performance Right fact sheet.)
A lack of economic data hampers the debate over fair royalty rates, said Casey Rae, deputy director of the artist-centered Future of Music Coalition. “There’s a need for more fact-based study of the economic impact of royalty rates” for different broadcast technologies, he said. “The rates should be reasonably platform neutral.” Different technologies will likely require different royalty rates, and a “one-size fits all’ solution isn’t ideal, he said. Rae and Kalo said changes should include a performance royalty for terrestrial radio, though Rae also said royalties assessed to over-the-air broadcasters might need to be structured differently.
Washington, D.C.— Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians, has submitted testimony for the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet’s hearing on Music Licensing, taking place on Wednesday, November 28. read more
Over the past ten years, internet and digital radio has evolved into a robust and viable business.
Services like Pandora, Sirius XM, Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio and Slacker are leading the way in delivering radio-like services to millions of music fans every day, and paying millions of dollars in digital performance royalties to rightsholders, performers and songwriters. read more
“Who the [heck] is this guy and why is he trying to sell me a warm sack of [poo]?”
This question lit up my mind last week, as I sat in the audience for the Future of Music Coalition Policy [sic] Summit in Washington, DC. The guy in question was, in fact, a US Senator — Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) — while said warm-sack-of-[poo] was the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), which Sen. Wyden is sponsoring in the Senate. read more
[…]This disconnect between old media companies and new is hilariously illustrated by comments that one of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, made recently at the Future of Music Coalition Summit. After some harsh words for the major labels, Wyden said the following, as quoted by Digital Music News: “Now, if it weren’t for the disruptive independent record labels — I’m talking about people like I.R.S. and Sub Pop and Tim/Kerr — we might never have known much about bands like R.E.M., and Nirvana and the Replacements … I sure want us to remember their enduring influence on not just rock music, but on their contributions to our culture and an entire generation.” read more