House Passes Webcaster Bill
Washington - Sep 27, 2008 - House bill 7084, the Webcaster Settlement Act, has been passed in the House of Representatives. The bill allows webcasters to negotiate with the music industry for a royalty rate lower than that mandated by Congress last year. The NAB had opposed the bill, which had the legislation on hold. But according to an article on CNET, the NAB met with Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and expressed its concerns about webcasters striking a deal before broadcasters. Sound Exchange, the RIAA group that collects royalties, has until Dec. 15 to negotiate a new royalty rate. CNET says the NAB was worried that the deadline didn't give it enough time to strike its own royalty agreement.
CNET says that Rep. Berman agreed to extend the deadline to Feb. 15, 2009, to allow the NAB the additional time it needed. CNET quotes Berman as saying, "There isn't anything in the act that prevents traditional broadcasters from reaching their own royalty rate."
The bill is expected to pass in the Senate without any problem. Read the bill at this link.
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