Legislation offered to set net-radio fees based on revenues

You might remember that I recently wrote about new use fees set for music played on Internet based radio stations. These fees were determined using costs and figures from the dot-com boom time when everything was overvalued by an order of magnitude or more. The new use fees were set so high that nearly all Internet radio stations would have to pay more than pre-tax earnings, effectively killing net-radio. A new bill has been put forward that would legislate the rate at 7.5 percent of revenues (the same as satellite radio broadcasters pay) instead.

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.

I’m not generally in favor of the government getting in and messing with private business affairs like this. Given the Copyright Royalty Boards unwillingness to consider realistic pricing schedules, however, this is the only way to get reasonable rates set that I can see outside of letting the current fees kill off net-radio. Then the CRB would have to reset fees far lower so the 2nd wave of net-radio stations could be created and actually get valid rates. (via slashdot)

[tags]New bill to legislate net-radio fees based on revenues[/tags]