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H.R. 2060, The Internet Radio Equality Act (17 comments ↓)

  • This item is from the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 2060 would nullify the March 2, 2007, determination of the Copyright Royalty Judges with respect to webcasting, to modify the basis for making such a determination.

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Tim Davis

May 1, 2007, 3:23pm (report abuse)

It is very important for this bill to pass. Radio is currently dominated by hefty frequency licencing fees, royalties, and even the cost of launching sattelites into space. These cost make it prohibitive for smaller, more focused stations to be heard at all.

Internet radio bridges the gap between music variety and access. Music has been around since the birth of man and isn't going anywhere. The fees assessed by the Copyright Royalty Judges are unfair and unrealistic. For instance, a measily internet radio station with just 100 listeners playing 24 hours a day would have to pay $1,920 per day to the RIAA under the current new rules! This same station would be paying almost $700,000 per year. The rate also increases 30% each year to an astounding $4,560 per day and 1.66 Million dollars PER YEAR by 2010, and this is just for 100 listeners.

Darren

May 12, 2007, 7:56am (report abuse)

The question in this debate is who gets to determine the royalty rates for playing music online: Those who own the music or those who play the music?

There are a few facts that webcasters tend to ignore when debating this issue:

1.) The rates the CRB set were desired by the labels (i.e. the people who own the music). If they own the music, shouldn't they be the ones to set the rates?

2.) Webcasters are free to negotiate rates with music owners outside of this ruling. Therefore, if there are artists who want their music to be played by webcasters, those artists are free to do so. (Most artists tend to choose the labels...)

3.) This isn't a fee for playing *any* music online, it's playing *copyrighted* music online. People are free to host their radio shows, but they are not free to play copyrighted music without permission from the owners.

I hope this bill is defeated. The government should not have a role in setting music rates.

Cash Morris

May 12, 2007, 10:33am (report abuse)

Musicians, and the people who produce and provide the music to the people should be compensated. However that compensation should not be at the cost of bankrupting an emerging market. Surely a reasonable percentage of the revenue that the internet radio companies make is a fair comprimise.

Making a flat rate fee apply to services such as Siruis, who are paid by their users, the same as Pandora's free service is completely unfair.

Let the RIAA get their bread and butter from record sales not from the blood of those promoting the product.

Christopher Lane

May 18, 2007, 12:47am (report abuse)

It is all about nothing but GREED. I think the days of artists making enough money to buy small countries should be over! There are many many many artists who have much better talent and should be allowed to be heard. Nobody owns music! its only a series of tones set to a timed rythym. Just Greed plain and simple. Please stop the GREEDY RIAA!!!!

Carl Powell

June 11, 2007, 2:14am (report abuse)

In response to Darren: I agree with you. The Federal Govt. should NOT have any say in setting rates, let the free market decide. HOWEVER, the govt. should also not play favorites. If broadcast media is exempt as 'advertisement' then all media should be the same regardless of how it arrives in my home. The information is the value bearer, not the means. This is the very distinction that enables subscription services, the theme that their service is better in some way. The Tidewater, VA market is in the nations top 10 and has no other outlet for music genres such as you find on Monad.fm Sky.fm HAPPYDAYS and several others that I listen to. The library doesn't even carry many of these artists. This bill must pass.

Bill Maxwell

June 11, 2007, 10:31am (report abuse)

The Copyright Royalty Board is an organization of the Library of Congress, three members names by the Library of Congress, to set the rates and terms for making royalty payments to the SoundExchange, the music industries roalty collection organization.

I would say that the Government is in the business of setting the rates.

I wonder the extent of lobbying to drive Internet Radio out of business through divide and concur?

Is Satellite Radio far behind?

This Act must pass to provide a equal playing field to ALL musical content providers,old and new, not just the ones with the big money and endless lobbyists.

Artist Advocate

June 13, 2007, 2:28pm (report abuse)

Radio has had a free ride for too long. Abolish the radio exemption and let the market set the royalty rate in all media.

Alain James

June 24, 2007, 5:56am (report abuse)

Christopher Lane

It is all about nothing but GREED. I think the days of artists making enough money to buy small countries should be over!

This is not true for most working jazz musicians.

We get nothing at all. You can feel somewhat lucky to have you music played, but your copyrighted music is supposed to garner you a few bucks to help you survive. Many recordings by independent musicians are produced by the musicians themselves. They pay all the costs and are should be compensated by some agreement between radio and the artists.

There has to be some balance between the desirable quality of having ones' music played and heard by interested people, and the undesirable quality of being exploited.

anon

June 25, 2007, 10:47am (report abuse)

Artists should be paid for the use of their material, but all media types should pay them evenly across the board. You should not let mainstream broadcasters off the hock allowing them to use material free, while charring satellite radio a normal fee and then tripling the rates for Internet broadcasters. That is quite plainly discrimination.

If you were selling apples you would not charge one price for White people and another price for Black people and yet another price for Asian people. Set a base price for everyone and raise that price across the board when you feel you are not being paid fairly for your services.

anole

June 26, 2007, 9:12am (report abuse)

Reading the comments here, I can appreciate both sides of the argument. However not being a musician or a working at a net radio station, I can only speak to my role as a listener and consumer. I use I-tunes radio daily. I appreciate good music, but don't have the time to go hunt for it. I have found dozens of artists that I would never have heard of if not for internet radio. When I hear a song that I dig, I jump on over to the itunes store and buy it. I somehow always thought that it was good thing for artists, and that I was doing my part in fostering unknown, or independent musicians. Maybe I was wrong and the artists opposed to the bill don't want my money, or have some other marketing tactic, but if internet radio goes away, I see myself saving alot of money on music.

Mr. Pelicano

June 26, 2007, 10:10am (report abuse)

One thing to keep in mind is that the fees that CRB wants to levy on internet radio broadcasters applies only to those domiciled in the United States. It has absolutely no force of law outside U.S. borders. So, in effect, what the proposed rate hike will achieve is the destruction of internet radio within the U.S. but will have no effect whatsoever on internet radio outside the U.S. Thus, one has to wonder what kind of enforcement power these rules will have if broadcasters simply shift their operations offshore - to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, etc.

ConsumerJoe

June 26, 2007, 3:31pm (report abuse)

I vote for anything that keeps money out of the hands of Corporate America. If they want to put an end to piracy and/or copyright infringement, then they should lower the cost of CDs ... don't gouge someone that is MARKETING YOUR PRODUCT to get the money you feel you have lost. Leave the gouging to the medical industry. I hope the bill passes, and I hope that Corporate America (here, the record labels) learns from this and goes back to working for a buck rather than taking one from someone else.

Ryan Cutchall

June 29, 2007, 6:40pm (report abuse)

This bill is a necessity to pass. Not only will this keep american based internet radio stations up and running, it will keep them from being outsourced. Internet radio is a key tool for DJs and EDM producers to get their word out about their product (their new music) quickly and efficiently as well as provide a window into the medium for others to enjoy.

Bill

June 29, 2007, 9:14pm (report abuse)

Flawed business model.

The RIAA knows just how easy it is to convert streaming content into high quality MP3s. You don't even have to be that tech savvy to do so. That is the real problem. It is protectionist to set rates like they are planning to do for Internet radio without HR 2060. Innovate around this and compete in the marketplace!

Rob

July 3, 2007, 3:51pm (report abuse)

Anyone who thinks this bill should be defeated is a total Jagoff. Why wouldn't anyone want to be able to listen to good music online with variety??? There's enough money to go around for everyone. This is all about greed. I pray this bill passes. Does anyone know what date the bill will be voted on????

Jim W

July 10, 2007, 7:05pm (report abuse)

HR 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act, should definitely be enacted. The current CRB ruling will put in place a prohibitive rate structure that will:

(1) Cause major disruptive impact to the structure of an entire industry, namely Internet radio;

(2) Result in closing off potential new markets for creative expression, and media for their communication;

(3) Greatly minimize the availability of creative works to the public; and

(4) Deny copyright users an opportunity for "fair income" and copyright owners a "fair return" for creative works under existing economic conditions (because the cost-prohibitive fees would result in industry closure and thus cut off the copyright payment revenue stream).

These results run counter to criteria established by Congress in Section 801(b)(1) of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. H.R. 2060 would go a long way to restore these historic criteria, which the CRB has lost sight of, and which the RIAA has attempted to avoid like the plague.

AJ Russell

August 18, 2007, 5:00pm (report abuse)

Artist should get paid a fair rate ,with that being said they want that rate everytime thier music is heard.Ok as artist go I painted this work of art everytime you look at it..show me the money

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