Great news for WOOZradio, Pandora and all other net radio broadcasters. Though this bill doesn’t entirely spell things out re: the future of net radio (at least in terms of WOOZ and our streaming via Live365) it is a positive step toward a solution that will keep net radio alive after many contentious months following the CRB’s unfair ruling in March 2007.
The key — the National Association of Broadcasters has rolled over:
The real deciding factor came when Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) met with members of the NAB. They told him that they feared their Web competitors would get a deal done first. Under the terms of the legislation, SoundExchange, the body that collects royalties and is part of the Recording Industry Association of America, has until Dec. 15 to negotiate a new rate. The NAB apparently was worried that the deadline didn’t give the organization enough time to strike its own royalty agreement.
“Berman said ‘Fine, we’ll extend the date until Feb. 15, which gives you two more months to talk,'” said one music-industry source with knowledge of the discussions. “There isn’t anything in the act that prevents traditional broadcasters from reaching their own royalty rate.”
That did the trick, according to the source. Dennis Wharton, an NAB spokesman confirmed Saturday night that the NAB met with Berman and that the deadline was extended. He said the trade organization has dropped its opposition in both houses of Congress.