Update: Internet Radio Equality Act Introduced

There’s a new turn in the internet radio story I posted about mid-month in Possibly Fatal Blow Dealt to Web Radio — it looks like there might be some Congressional action to soften the blow, or possibly shatter the sickening money-grab altogether. Snip from The Register:

A bill introduced in Congress today could nullify the new rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which advocates say would put webcasters out of business.
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) have headed the “Internet Radio Equality Act,” which aims to stop the controversial March 2 decision which puts royalty of a .08 cent per song per listener, retroactively from 2006 to 2010 on internet radio.
Advocates have dreaded the CRB ruling, which they say could raise rates between 300 to 1200 per cent for webcasters. Earlier this month, the CRB threw out an appeal by commercial webcasters, National Public Radio and others to review the new rates and postpone a May 15 deadline for the introduction of the royalty schedule.
If passed, today’s bill would set new rates at 7.5 per cent of the webcaster’s revenue— the same rate paid by satellite radio. Alternatively, webcasters could decide to pay 33 cents per hour of sound recordings transmitted to a single user.

See also: Lawmakers propose reversal of Net radio fee increases (news.com)
There’s a bit at the end of the piece indicating they’re talking about rates for streaming as well. I think we really need to look at how this goes and what kind of precedent gets set for this type of media. Check for all breaking news on this at SaveNetRadio.org. (thanks, Cliff!)
Also: Scott Beale at Laughing Squid has a really thorough post about all the coverage and info, very worth a look.

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