The U.S. Senate yesterday approved the Webcaster Settlement Act and sent it to the President to be signed. The bill authorizes internet radio services and Sound Exchange (as agents for copyright owners and performers) to negotiate new royalty agreements retroactive to 2006. A new deal could settle rates through 2015. The House of Representatives passed the bill September 28.
Now the hard work begins.
From the press release:
Jonathan Potter, Executive Director of the Digital Media Association, offered this statement:
“On behalf of DiMA and our Internet radio members, I want to thank Congress for acting quickly to pass the Webcaster Settlement Act. This legislation will enable DiMA and our member companies, and all Internet radio services, to continue negotiating royalty rates with SoundExchange for the years 2006-2015. We are very hopeful of reaching agreement soon, and thereby creating long-term stability that will re-energize the Internet radio business.
"We express great thanks to Senators Wyden and Brownback, and Representatives Inslee and Manzullo for sponsoring the Webcaster Settlement Act and also being great leaders of the Internet Radio Equality Act.
“We are also grateful to Chairman Berman, Chairman Conyers and Chairman Leahy, and Ranking Members Smith and Specter for their leadership on the Webcaster Settlement Act and their ongoing support for Internet radio."