Kudos to Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01) for filing legislation yesterday to reverse a federal Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision that threatens to kill Internet radio.
The CRB decision would charge webcasters $0.0019 per song per listener in 2010, increasing rates by between 300 and 1200 percent, depending on the current size of audience. It would not apply to terrestrial broadcasters on the AM and FM bands, but would apply to their web streams.
The Inslee-Manzullo Internet Radio Equality Act would provide royalty parity, vacating the CRB’s March 2 decision and applying the same royalty rate of 7.5 percent of revenues to commercial Internet radio, satellite radio, cable radio and jukeboxes.
“This Titanic rate increase is simply untenable for many Internet radio broadcasters,” said Inslee, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.
“You can’t put an economic chokehold on this emerging force of democracy,” he added. “There has to be a business model that allows creative webcasters to thrive and the existing rule removes all the oxygen from this space.”
Rep. Inslee will be my guest on “The David Goldstein Show” this coming Sunday at 7PM, on Newsradio 710-KIRO. We will be discussing Internet radio and food safety.