Internet Radio Fairness Coalition Launches to Help Accelerate Growth and
Innovation in Internet Radio To Benefit Artists, Consumers and the Recording
Creating a Sustainable Business Model for Internet Radio Will Give Consumers
More Choices, Increase Revenues for Artists, Spur Innovation, and Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --A wide spectrum of organizations,
ranging from Internet radio services to broadcast radio companies and groups
concerned about the future of the Internet radio industry, announced today the
launch of the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition.
The Coalition's mission is to urge Congress to support legislation (The
Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012, or IRFA), aimed at bringing the royalty
system for Internet radio into the 21^st century -- creating a sustainable
business model for the industry that gives consumers more choices and more
products for listening to the music they love; enables artists to earn more
money as Internet radio grows; creates a marketplace that will attract
entrepreneurs to invest in new, innovative ways to deliver music to the
public; and drives higher revenues for record labels.
The IRFA calls for all digital music services to be judged by the same
rate-setting standard, putting Internet radio under a standard that's balanced
for the promotion and creation of creative works – one that encourages the
growth of robust and sustainable markets for these works.
The current royalty rate-setting system for digital radio, including Internet
radio, is the result of piecemeal legislation enacted as new technologies were
invented. The result is a system significantly out of date – and, critically,
out of sync with the realities of the 21^st century marketplace. This royalty
system, overseen by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), splits digital music
into two categories: Internet radio and satellite radio – each with its own
royalty rate-setting standard. The standard for Internet radio is
inappropriate and limited in the data that can be considered, and, as a
result, substantially hinders the growth of Internet radio businesses and
platforms and hurts consumers, artists and innovators.
The bills, H.R.6480 and S.3609, were introduced by Reps. Jason Chaffetz
(R-UT), Jared Polis (D-CO), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) in the
House and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the Senate.
"Our piecemeal legislation covering music royalty rates was enacted decades
before we had the Internet or current technology. It's out of tune with the
realities of the 21st Century marketplace. Updated rules would help deliver
music to the public in devices of their choice and create a viable digital
music business that benefits artists and innovators," said Ed Black, President
& CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).
"Fixing the outrageous royalty discrimination against Internet radio will
promote a healthy and vibrant Internet music marketplace. The result will be
more investments, more new jobs, more money for musicians and copyright
holders, and more choices for consumers," said Michael Petricone, senior vice
president of government and regulatory affairs, Consumer Electronics
"We currently have a system that applies a unique rate-setting standard which
forces Internet radio to shoulder a larger royalty burden than other forms of
digital radio," said Lee Knife, Executive Director & General Counsel of the
Digital Media Association (DiMA). "This is a clear case of an out-dated legal
framework that stifles technology and consumer options. This bi-partisan
solution will drive more innovation in the legal digital distribution of
music. This will ultimately allow more choices for consumers and enable
greater exposure for artists."
"We believe that market-based solutions are the way to go," said Bob Pittman,
CEO of Clear Channel. "But in the absence of these agreements, the CRB needs
to have and consider more relevant information so they are better able to
develop a rate structure that will lead to a healthy, sustainable Internet
radio marketplace. This will enable artists to earn more and connect more with
their fans, consumers to have more choices, and entrepreneurs to invent and
invest in new services."
"Legislation that establishes a fair royalty rate setting-standard for
Internet radio will drive investment in webcasting, which ultimately offers
greater opportunities and more revenue for working artists," said Pandora
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Tim Westergren. "Internet radio has been
shown to help decrease music piracy and increase music sales. When the digital
music sector is allowed to grow and innovate, everybody wins."
The legislation, which was introduced Sept. 21, would also:
oProvide all forms of digital radio the same standard at rate-setting
proceedings before the panel of judges on the Copyright Royalty Board;
oProvide for Presidential nomination and Senate confirmation of CRB judges,
oPromote a competitive marketplace by making it easier for artists and
labels to negotiate directly with digital radio services and arrive at a
negotiated rate outside the CRB process.
Founding members of the Coalition include 977 Music, AccuRadio, Clear Channel
Media and Entertainment, Computer and Communications Industry Association
(CCIA), Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Digital Media Association
(DiMA), Digitally Imported, Engine Advocacy, National Religious Broadcasters
Music License Committee (NRBMLC),Pandora (NYSE: P), Radio Paradise, Salem
Communications, and the Small Webcaster Alliance (SWA). The Coalition website
ABOUT THE INTERNET RADIO FAIRNESS COALITION:
The Internet Radio Fairness Coalition was formed to advocate for legislation
that would establish fair and equitable standards for Internet radio and
create a universal, technology-neutral standard that would apply to all forms
of digital radio equally. The Coalition was created by several Internet radio
service companies and advocacy organizations to provide the CRB with more
relevant information enabling it to develop a rate structure that will lead to
a healthy, sustainable Internet radio marketplace and benefit consumers,
artists, entrepreneurs and record labels.
SOURCE Internet Radio Fairness Coalition
Contact: Harvey Valentine, +1-855-262-4928,
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