Thursday, July 12, 2007

Notes from the Hill

Misc notes from DC on the status of the IREA and any settlements:

Today, at 4pm Eastern, Rep. Ed Markey has called for a roundtable about the web radio royalty issue.

The IREA has 128 co-sponsors now, and 5 in the senate. Finally starting to see some progress in the senate.

I've heard that there are lots of negotiations going on right now with the RIAA. Technically, they're negotiating with SoundExchange, but all the negotiators have RIAA business cards. SoundExchange is effectively the RIAA's puppet, since their board is controlled by RIAA and AFM (Musicians Union, who works closely with the RIAA).

There are separate negotiations with NAB, NPR, IBS and CBI (college broadcasters). Rumor is that nothing came out of NPR's meeting. The Small Commercial Webstasters are also talking to SX and are represented by David Oxenford. (I had previously reported erroneously that David Oxenford was not at the negotiations.)

DiMA, representing SaveNetRadio as well as AOL, Yahoo, Real, Live365 and others, is reported to not getting anywhere with the RIAA. Apparently the RIAA is refusing to compromise (gee, imagine that).

It is all about control, control via money. RIAA wants more control over what NPR stations like KCRW are playing, as more and more NPR stations in major metro areas are hosting influential music programs. And of course they want more control over the bigger internet stations. The RIAA doesn't like the fact that their (often inferior) product isn't being promoted as heavily as independent (and superior) music on these channels.

We basically have one more day to keep the rates from going into effect. so please call your senators and congressmen now and ask them to support the IREA, the internet radio equality act.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just called my congressman and senators. I really hope the IREA passes! Thanks for your updates and hard work! I love SomaFM and have enjoyed many of its stations for several years. I would hate to see it go away!

July 12, 2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous steve br said...

How about this for another idea: I have contacted the leading presidential campaign offices with this message:


im a voter and a business owner in California.

I would like to give the campaign what i think is a great tip.
Mr. Giuliani should publically support the Internet Radio Equality Act.

My thoughts are that publically supporting this would instantly net Mr. Giulliani a very vocal and powerful group of online supporters. The people that are looking at this are internet trendsetters and very vocal - they are bloggers and have a large audience... He would come off like
a real hero to a LOT of people that feel the CRB decision (an unelected group) to impose massive unsustainable royalty rates on these little webcaster guys is completely unfair and anti-American - and it is.

Mr. Giuliani's public support of the Internet Radio Equality Act will give him an instant and quantifiable popularity gain, will give him a much needed 'net credibility boost, and will certainly win my vote among many others.

Here's a link detailing the issue:

July 12, 2007 2:02 PM  

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