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Internet Radio Fairness Act Bill Proposed To Save Small Broadcasters

Disappointed in the Librarian of Congress’ recent imposition of high fees on web radio broadcasters and the resultant shutdown of many web radio broadcasts (including KIRO and KMTT in Seattle), U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee [right] (D-WA), George Nethercutt [below] (R-WA), and Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced new legislation to change existing web radio laws.

“The bill is designed to make the copyright royalty arbitration process more fair for smaller entities, and will go before the House of Representatives’ Judiciary and Small Business Committees…

“Said Nethercutt, ‘No one wins under the current CARP standard – webcasters will close shop, consumers lose access to a wide selection of programming, and copyright holders collect nothing…’

“Said Boucher, ‘Unfortunately, both the CARP and the Librarian of Congress were working under a flawed law that has produced a royalty rate which harms not only the hundreds of webcasters that have already shut down operations, but also Internet users seeking innovative music programming and artists seeking alternative avenues through which to promote their music…’

“Some Highlights Of Inslee’s, Nethercutt’s, And Boucher’s Internet Radio Fairness Act Include:

  • Small businesses – those that – six million dollars in gross revenue will be exempted from last week’s decision by the Librarian of Congress’s on fees for web radio…
  • All future CARPs must change the royalty rate standard from the ‘willing-buyer/willing-seller’ to the ‘traditional’ standard that was enacted by the 1976 Copyright Act…
  • Small businesses will be exempted from the payment requirement for participation in future CARP proceedings…
  • All future Carps must eliminate fees for temporary recordings – ‘ephemeral recordings’…
  • All future CARPS must comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This will require Carps to specifically consider the impact of any decisions on small businesses.”
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