[JPL] U.S. Senate Passes Webcaster Act

Arturo Gomez arturo at kuvo.org
Fri Oct 3 12:45:28 EDT 2008

U.S. Senate Passes Webcaster Act
Oct 1, 2008 By Ed Christman, Billboard

The U.S. Senate passed the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008, sending it to
President Bush's desk for signature two days after the U.S. House of
Representatives okayed the bill.
The bill allows for SoundExchange, on behalf of copyright owners and
performers, to negotiate with Internet radio services through 2015, an
alternative royalty agreement while Congress is in recess.

The negotiations are aimed at setting aside a 2007 decision by the Copyright
Royalty Board that set a royalty rate that Internet radio participants said
would endanger the fiscal health of webcasting. If the President signs the
bill and new royalty agreements are reached, it would set a royalty rate
retroactive to 2006, and allow for a framework that could resolve future
disputes through 2015, according to an announcement by the Digital Media
Association (DiMA).

“On behalf of DiMA and our Internet radio members, I want to thank Congress
for acting quickly to pass the Webcaster Settlement Act," said DiMA
executive director Jonathan Potter, in a statement. "This legislation will
enable DiMA and our member companies, and all Internet radio services, to
continue negotiating royalty rates with SoundExchange for the years
2006-2015. We are very hopeful of reaching agreement soon, and thereby
creating long-term stability that will re-energize the Internet radio

In addition to DiMA, SoundExchange, National Public Radio (NPR) and the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) also welcomed the bill's
passage in the House of Representatives earlier this week.


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