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Internet Radio Equality Act introduced in House

Posted on: 04/26/2007

The Internet Radio Equality Act (.pdf) has just been introduced (in mid-afternoon) by Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA, pictured right) and eight cosponsors, with more cosponsors on the bill expected shortly.

The bill has five major provisions:

  • Nullifies the recent decision of the CRB judges
  • Changes the royalty rate-setting standard that applies to Internet radio royalty arbitrations in the future so that it is the same standard that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations — the 801(b)(1) standard that balances the needs of copyright owners, copyright users, and the public (rather than "willing buyer / willing seller"). (For more detail on this point, read the recent RAIN issue on "Copyright law," here.)
  • Instructs future CRBs that the minimum annual royalty per service may be set no higher than $500.
  • Establishes a “transitional” royalty rate, until the 2011-15 CRB hearing is held, of either .33 cents per listener hour, or 7.5% of annual revenues, as selected by the provider for that year. Those rates would be applied retroactively to January 1, 2006. (The logic behind this rate, incidentally, is an attempt to match the royalty rate that satellite radio pays for this royalty — thus the name of the bill.)
  • Expands the Copyright Act’s Section 118 musical work license for noncommercial webcasters to enable noncomms to also perform sound recordings over Internet radio at royalty rates designed for noncommercial entities, and sets an transition royalty at 150% of the royalty amount paid by each webcaster in 2004. (Note that this amount would be a set, flat fee through the end of the decade.) (NOTE: This paragraph contains a correction from earlier versions of this day’s issue of RAIN.)
  • For future CRBs (e.g., 2011-15), adds three new reports in the CRB process: The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information will submit a report to the CRB judges on the industry impact in terms of competitiveness of the judges’ proposed rates; at the same time, the FCC will submit a report to the CRB judges on the effects of the judges’ proposed rates on localism, diversity of programming, and competitive barriers to entry; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will submit a report to Congress and the CRB judges on the effect of the the judges’ proposed rates on their licencees. (NOTE: This parargraph is an addendum to earlier versions of this day’s issue of RAIN.)

Now that the bill has been introduced, the SaveNetRadio.org "call to action" is specific and direct: The site is now asking listeners to call their Representative and ask him/her to "cosponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act, introduced by Representative Jay Inslee." Once listeners click the "Call Your Representatives" button on the site and enter their zip code, they are given their Representative’s House office phone number and a list of "talking points" to emphasize.

A copy of the bill in its current form (without an "H.R. ____" number attached to it yet), in .pdf form, is available here. More details tomorrow in RAIN.

“Day of Silence” webcasters

More and more webcasters are signing on to our proposed "Day of Silence" taking place Tuesday, May 8 [read full details in RAIN here]. Below is a growing list of webcasts that have agreed to go "dark" for the day:

MusicTampaBay.com will off-line May 8th. Hopefully this will be the only day MTB has to go silent.
ThereIsNoRadio will be participating in the "Day of Silence". All of our talk show
hosts are recording PSA’s explaining the situation and directing listeners to
savenetradio.org. These PSA’s will be the only thing heard on the station and each will be followed by 20-30 seconds of silence.

Count on our full support for a "Day of Silence." We will shut down our streams on May 8th, and our listeners will hear the silence loud and clear. — ClubNetRadio.com

Organlive.com is in.

Wind Band FM and SLT Radio fully support the "Day of Silence."

Count us in! www.GraffitiRadio.com will be dead silent on May 8th! Alternative Rock will have to wait until the 9th to be heard again!
Radio Bop is on board for the Day of Silence on May 8th!
EAR.FM is one of the first 100 stations to exist at Live365, is still here today and we intend to be here tomorrow as well. We pledge our commitment to the Day Of Silence.
We’re in on this as well. —-City Sounds Radio

We will participate in the day of silence!! — The Monks Media Radio Network,

We are definitely committed to the cause. Count us in for May 8th! —DementedRadio.com
Though it’s not an internet radio station, bitsdujour.com will support the day of silence by not having any bits on our site that day, and sending visitors to

May 8th, we will be supporting the "Day of Silence" and we will do whatever is necessary to help support. — Firstclasshiphop.com

NeverEndingWonder Radio will join the Day of Silence.
FOXY.FM will support the "Day of Silence" on May 8th. Also we are going to replace our website with an explanation and banner for SaveNetRadio.org.
praradio.org is participating in the day of silence and working on our region

We will go silent on May 8th in support of the alliance. — WebRadioPugetSound

The entire Radio X Network is in. All 5 of our stations will be silent on Tuesday the 8th. —-Radio X Network (.com)

Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio is in and we’ll get our small band of "progressive rock" stations to join us. Thanks for all your efforts!
I would be willing to pull our groovyradio.net stream off-air on 5/8. We cannot afford to continue under the new royalty plan.
Count fluffertraX in for the May 8 Day of Silence. Thank you for proposing it. I still hear the silence of iM Networks, caused by the CARP in 2002. We are more than happy to go silent and take a stand.
What a great, great idea. A Day Of Silence. I’m a small timer on Live365 and ‘I’m In"…Super. I’ll do

what I can to get the word out to fellow broadcasters that I know!!
— All Rock Legends
Let’s do it! You have our support! 525.com Power Tracks will join the May 8th Day of Silence and urge this to be a global effort, as well. I think it would be a great idea to get a list of stations going that plan to join the Day of Silence to sort of put the pressure on other stations who may be indecisive about shutting down for the day.
I will gladly participate in this for sure.
Let’s go for another Day of Silence … Let’s Roll !!
— Fabsfab French Briton
This is a great idea, both our stations (WCH Radio and The Wave) will support it. We also run two podcasts from our MySpace pages and our websites. We could run all the PSAs only on that day on our podcasts also.
I’ll be on the hill with you (again) and you can count on 1Club.fm and WBMX.com being SILENT on that day with just one thing running… OUR PSA pointing the listeners to contact their Congress persons or else this (insert silence) is all you’re going to hear after next week on your favorite Internet radio stations.
I’m in! We’ve got to create public outrage!
— NiceNoise.net
LuxuriaMusic.com is on-board.
Day of Silence? I’m in. Although small by comparison to many other ‘net-caters, Pagan Radio Network has a loyal listenership.
I like the idea of total silence… we need the biggest impact possible. Puregold Rock ‘N Roll would love to help in any way. I also think each station should notify their local press with a release as to the total black-out of Internet radio.
I’m all for a day of silence…as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I have invested a lot of passion and energy into Devil Free Radio and will go down swinging!
Count me in.
— BAGeL Radio
I am in for the 8th of May!
— www.realdanceradio.com
AmericanaRoots.com will participate in the day of silence. My hats off to Kurt and all the fine folks that have worked so hard over the last few months.
MPYR RADIO would definitely participate in this. The day of silence is great.
I was considering May 1st for all Live365 stations. May 8th is also satisfactory.
— Smooth Jazz and More
I am in on the day of silence.
— www.AllMemphisMusic.com
We are definitely on board for a day of silence. Anything that we can do to help please let us know.
— 181.fm
I fully support a "Day of Silence" or whatever is decided and whatever it is called. I agree that this must be a major news story.
— BornAgainRadio
I wrote down May 8th as the day of silence, alerted my webmaster to create new banners told my production staff to come up with a loop to air by May 8th.
My station is based in Northern Virginia however I work in DC.
www.2ngradio.com (I’m one the Loudcity licensed stations, that also
would suffer a 2,000% rise).
We are committed to the "Day of Silence" on May 8th. Also we are going to forward our web site to SaveNetRadio.org.
Count us in… — BluegrassRadio.org

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