The Debate Over The Internet Fairness Act Goes To Congress Starting Tomorrow
November 27, 2012 at 3:59 AM (PT)
TOMORROW (11/28) will be the first day the fight over THE INTERNET FAIRNESS ACT moves to CAPITOL HILL, as the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet has scheduled a heading on the matter.
The subcommittee posted on its website the Hearing Information, writing "Hearing on: 'Music Licensing Part One: Legislation in the 112th Congress.' WEDNESDAY 11/28/2012 - 11:30a."
Various sides have been gearing up for this battle on CAPITOL HILL.
YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 11/26), ALL ACCESS reported the major record labels are forming their battle plans to defeat legislation to lower royalty rates for webcasters. CNET reports "representatives from the three largest music-recording companies, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and WARNER MUSIC GROUP, plan to meet early next week with some of the industry's top artist managers in NEW YORK to discuss strategy about how to block passage of the Internet Radio Fairness Act."
Two weeks ago (NET NEWS 11/14), a group of smaller pureplay webcasters that includes DIGITALLY IMPORTED, 977 MUSIC and RADIO PARADISE and ACCURADIO CEO KURT HANSON released a statement that took umbrage with the upcoming MUSICFIRST/SOUNDEXCHANGE ad in BILLBOARD and its accompanying press release that slammed PANDORA for trying to lower royalty rates.
Earlier that day on NOVEMBER 14th (NET NEWS 11/14), Well over 100 groups, musicians and singers have publicly released an open letter to be published in this weekend's BILLBOARD MAGAZINE opposing PANDORA’s effort to get The Internet Radio Fairness Act into law, which would cut artists’ pay when music is played over Internet radio. Among the artists to sign the open letter were COMMON, DEAD KENNEDYS, MISSY ELLIOT, VINCE GILL, DON HENLEY, BILLY JOEL, MAROON 5, MARTHA REEVES, DAVID SANBORN, MICHAEL W. SMITH and ROGER. While saying they were "big fans" of PANDORA and lauded the company’s commercial success, the artists asked why PANDORA was pushing Congress to lower its royalties. "That’s not fair and that’s not how partners work together," they wrote.