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Last Minute Legislation Looms: Net Radio & Piracy

Congress A financial bailout is not the only thing that Congress is working on as it rushes towards a pre-election recess.  Last minute bills that could dramatically effect music fans as well as webcasters and antipiracy efforts are the subject of back room wheelings and dealings.

A bill introduced in Congress offers hope for negotiations over drastically increased performance royalties for net radio. The Webcaster Settlement Act authorizes SoundExchange, on behalf of copyright owners and performers, to negotiate alternative royalty agreement before the end of the year with net radio services. Late Friday, however, Tech Daily Dose  reported that lobbyists for radio are "worried about competition from webcasters and extinguishing the bill would throw a wrench into the royalty talks." (more at R.A.I.N.)

Another bill would encourage a government crack down on piracy by boosting...

federal law enforcement resources made progress toward the Senate floor after negotiators removed a provision that would have given the US attorney general enforcement authority against copyright infringers. The Bush administration and consumer groups had opposed the Lahey Spector bill, arguing that lawsuits should be directly between copyright holders and the offenders.