Net Radio Royalty Extension Bill Passes House
September 29, 2008 at 10:24 AM (PT)
It was a busy and seemingly fruitful weekend for Internet radio interests, as a House bill to extend royalty negotiations between SOUNDEXCHANGE and webcasters passed unanimously on SATURDAY night. According to CNET NEWS, it's expected to pass the Senate possibly before ELECTION DAY.
Supporters of the "Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008" believe the extra time is vital to negotiate a lower royalty fee. Net radio interests such as PANDORA.COM assert that the current rate in place would be so onerous as to put them out of business. Yet Net parties were taken aback last week when the NAB started lobbying against the bill (NET NEWS, 9/26). Apparently, the NAB, didn't want any such legislation passed without getting a chance to strike a like-minded royalty bill for terrestrial radio.
According to CNET NEWS, when boll co-sponsor Congressman HOWARD BERMAN met with members of the NAB, "They told him that they feared their Web competitors would get a deal done first." Berman agreed to extend the date of the Net radio's renegotiations until FEB. 15th, 2009. Once the deadline was extended, the NAB dropped its opposition in both houses of Congress.