A past letter from Senator Hillary Clinton

Hello! I decided to re-post a blog from last year that was truly special; please read on: I am honored to have received an email from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding the future of Internet Radio which I would like to share with you: Dear Mr. Taylor: Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the proposed new royalty rates for online radio. I always enjoy hearing from New Yorkers about challenging public policy issues that are important to them, and I particularly appreciate your concerns regarding the future of I nternet radio. As you may know, I am a strong supporter of maintaining an open Internet that fosters innovation. No other communications medium in recent history has had such a profound impact on the expression of speech, education, the dissemination of information and the exchange of ideas. Online radio is a great example of how the Internet has helped to cultivate innovation and offered consumers access to new an d personalized information. However, the great technological and commercial progress that has come with the ongoing development of the Internet has also brought with it numerous new public policy dilemmas, such as how to balance copyright protection for music and other property with the innovation that the Internet continues to cultivate. As you know, in March 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) proposed a new online radio royalty structure, which would amend the system that has been in place since 2002 and establish a new scale for royalties charged to Internet radio companies on a per-song, per-listener basis. The proposed rates will begin at 0.08 cents per song per listener, retroactive to January 1, 2006 , and will reach 0.19 cents per song per listener in 2010. The CRB has since announced that it will hear appeals of its previous ruling. Your concerns about this matter are significant and I hope that this period for appeal will enable the CRB to carefully consider points of view like yours. Thank you again for sharing your concerns regarding these important Internet radio issues with me. Please be assured that I will continue to follow this issue closely and that I will keep your views in mind in the future if related measures come before the Senate. For more informa tion on my support for an open I nternet and other important issues before the United States Senate, please visit my website at http://clinton.senate.gov . Sincerely, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton I feel that this is indeed, encouraging news and if the CRB truly hears the voice of the people, then Internet radio can continue to thrive! I encourage any American who loves the freedom of choice to write to Senator Clinton as a step towards guarding the spirit of music on the Web. Millions of independent musicians like myself will thank you!:)BKT Update: Well, now that a year has passed there is indeed good news concerning this issue: The Senate has recently approved the Webcaster Settlement Act which enables healthy royalty negotiations between copyright owners of songs and Internet Radio. President Bush has to sign it. I know that the economy is first priority, of course, but I think that it is a step in the right direction. If you want to read the full article,look below. Senate Approves Webcaster Settlement Act Solution for Webcasters May Be Nearing WASHINGTON D.C. – Legislation authorizing SoundExchange to negotiate royalty agreements with webcasters on behalf of copyright owners and performers before the end of the year has been approved by the U.S. Senate. The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 (H.R. 7084), passed unanimously in the House of Representatives earlier this week, was approved by the Senate yesterday evening and now awaits President Bush’s signature. “This legislation is not the final answer,” said SaveNetRadio spokesperson, Jake Ward, “but it is an essential step toward a lasting and much-needed solution. For more than eighteen months, our champions in Congress have fought battle after battle to ensure Internet radio’s survival and the prosperity of independent artists; that fight has not been in vain. The SaveNetRadio campaign and its members thank the original sponsors of the Internet Radio Equality Act, Congressman Jay Inslee, Congressman Donald Manzullo, Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Sam Brownback for their tireless support and leadership for innovators and artists. We also thank Chairman Berman, Chairman Conyers, Chairman Leahy, and Ranking Members Smith and Specter for their leadership in support of the Webcaster Settlement Act. Thanks to them and many others in both the House and the Senate, today’s approval of the Webcaster Settlement Act has cleared the way for private negotiations that hopefully will confirm Internet radio’s future.” The Webcaster Settlement Act specifically authorizes Internet radio services and agents for copyright owners and performers to negotiate new royalty agreements retroactive to 2005, and could potentially resolve future disputes through 2015. The bill (H.R. 7084), was originally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman (D–WA) Jay Inslee and co-sponsored by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA), Donald Manzullo (R-IL), John Conyers (D-MI) and Lamar Smith (R-TX). BACKGROUND: A March 2, 2007, decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), a division of the Library of Congress charged with establishing performance royalty rates for “digital radio” broadcasters, increased rates for webcasters by an unjustified and unprecedented 300 to 1200 percent. Since the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) increase royalty rates for webcasters 16 months ago, there has been an immediate and devastating effect on Internet radio services. Three of the most-listened-to services (AOL Radio, Yahoo! Radio and Pandora) have either left the business, limited listener access to their services, or announced they are likely to shut down in the near future if royalties are not significantly reduced. Just as importantly from the perspective of the artists that depend upon Internet radio, recent Arbitron data demonstrates clearly that royalty-paying webcast listening has diminished substantially since the CRB decision. Legislation introduced in May of 2007 to correct the discrepancy between Internet radio and cable and satellite radio providers by establishing an equal rate for all digital radio – cable, satellite and internet radio – at 7.5% of revenue has been cosponsored by more than 150 Members of Congress. The Internet Radio Equality Act (S. 1353/H.R. 2060) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) and in the House by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL). For more information on the SaveNetRadio coalition visit www.savenetradio.org Privacy/Legal | Link Kit | Contact

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