Lawmakers propose reversal of Net radio fee increases

By Anne Broache

A bill introduced in Congress Thursday aims to overturn a controversial royalty fee increase that Internet radio advocates say threatens to cripple their services.

The “Internet Radio Equality Act,” introduced by Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), would invalidate a March 2 decision by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that calls for raising royalty rates paid by Net radio operators.

“You can’t put an economic chokehold on this emerging force of democracy,” Inslee said in a statement e-mailed by a spokeswoman. “There has to be a business model that allows creative Webcasters to thrive and the existing rule removes all the oxygen from this space.”

The bill’s introduction comes less than two weeks after the CRB declined to reconsider most of its decision. Small Webcasters, National Public Radio, Clear Channel Communications and others had filed petitions for a rehearing. Some have indicated they are considering filing an appeal of the rules in court.

If it were to stand, the CRB’s existing ruling (PDF) would result in fee increases on Internet radio operators ranging from 300 to 1,200 percent between 2006 and 2012, according to a group called SaveNetRadio, which has been lobbying Congress for relief.

Specifically, the rules call for rate increases of .08 cents per song per listener retroactive to 2006. They would also climb to .19 cents per song by 2010, which amounts to a 30 percent increase per year. Each station would also have to hand over a minimum $500 royalty payment under the ruling.

The congressmen said they had already received more than 1,000 e-mails and letters opposing the decision.

In addition to repealing that regime, the new House bill offers a compromise: It would set the rate at 7.5 percent of the Webcaster’s revenue “directly related to” its transmission of sound recordings, or 33 cents per hour of sound recordings transmitted to a single listener. It would be up to the Webcaster to decide which model to use. That rate would also apply to satellite and cable radio operators, Inslee’s office said in a statement.

The proposal drew applause from SaveNetRadio, whose members include Internet radio listeners, Webcasters and artists.

“This bill is a critical step to preserve this vibrant and growing medium, and to develop a truly level playing field where Webcasters can compete with satellite radio,” said organization spokesman Jake Ward.

The bill also calls for public radio broadcasters to submit a report to Congress on how to determine rates for their class of services. Andi Sporkin, NPR’s vice president of communications, called that idea a fair solution that is consistent with more than 30 years of copyright law, which “has recognized that public radio has a very different mission from commercial media and cannot pay commercial-level royalty rates.”

Representatives for SoundExchange, the nonprofit entity that collects the fees and lobbied for the royalty rate changes, said they were still reviewing the bill and had no comment on Thursday.

The organization in the past has defended the CRB’s decision as an appropriate way of ensuring artists are adequately compensated when their work is broadcast over the Internet.

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MahieBush "Try Knocking Us (Radio)" On East Coast Digital Radio

MahieBush “Try Knocking Us (Radio)”The Alumni

There is so much talent in the Sacramento Hip-Hop scene that has yet to be discovered and recognized by major record labels or distributors. But out of that scene is an up and coming solo hip-hop artist by the name of MahtieBush (Brian Bush) who has been making a name for himself throughout Northern California and Nevada. MahtieBush was born in July, 1982 in Sacramento, Ca. When he was a kid his older cousins would play L.L.Cool J, Michael Jackson, and the Sugar Hill Gang all the time which made Bush a music lover from a early age. He recalls always having some type of musical instrument. “If i had a video game my mom and dad would make sure that I would also have a keyboard, record player, guitar, or something to go with it.” Mahtiebush’s sound and delivery is mostly compared to Xzibit, Ludacris, and Erick Sermon of EPMD. He is not only talented in just the art of emceeing but is also a well known and respected B-Boy (Break Dancer). During his 2-year solo career, MahtieBush has shared the stage with major artists ranging from Nas, Dead Prez, Little Brother, Zion-I, Prince Po (Organized Konfusion), and Black Sheep. As a member of The Alumni,

MahieBush has done shows in Tahiti and throughout Northern Cali, performing with artists like DJ Revolution. Mahtiebush also helped throw a benefit show for The Salvation Army’s Hurrican Katrina relief fund and has hosted numerous B-Boy and emcee battles, as well as other events not centered on music. MahtieBush has put out several mixtapes in the Sacramento, Waterbury, CT and Las Vegas, NV areas and has also been on every local Hip-Hop station in Sacramento, including 103.5 The Bomb, 102.5 KSFM, 90.3 KDVS, and co-hosted The Super Smash Brothers radio show on the now-defunct 96.5 KNOZ. MahtieBush is definitely a force to be reckoned with, not only in the Northern California scene but in the Hip-Hop industry as well. For booking info please hit me up at 916-271-2385.

MySpace URL:
http://www.myspace.com/mahtiebush916

MahieBush “Try Knocking Us (Radio)” On East Coast Digital Radio

MahieBush “Try Knocking Us (Radio)”The Alumni

There is so much talent in the Sacramento Hip-Hop scene that has yet to be discovered and recognized by major record labels or distributors. But out of that scene is an up and coming solo hip-hop artist by the name of MahtieBush (Brian Bush) who has been making a name for himself throughout Northern California and Nevada. MahtieBush was born in July, 1982 in Sacramento, Ca. When he was a kid his older cousins would play L.L.Cool J, Michael Jackson, and the Sugar Hill Gang all the time which made Bush a music lover from a early age. He recalls always having some type of musical instrument. “If i had a video game my mom and dad would make sure that I would also have a keyboard, record player, guitar, or something to go with it.” Mahtiebush’s sound and delivery is mostly compared to Xzibit, Ludacris, and Erick Sermon of EPMD. He is not only talented in just the art of emceeing but is also a well known and respected B-Boy (Break Dancer). During his 2-year solo career, MahtieBush has shared the stage with major artists ranging from Nas, Dead Prez, Little Brother, Zion-I, Prince Po (Organized Konfusion), and Black Sheep. As a member of The Alumni,

MahieBush has done shows in Tahiti and throughout Northern Cali, performing with artists like DJ Revolution. Mahtiebush also helped throw a benefit show for The Salvation Army’s Hurrican Katrina relief fund and has hosted numerous B-Boy and emcee battles, as well as other events not centered on music. MahtieBush has put out several mixtapes in the Sacramento, Waterbury, CT and Las Vegas, NV areas and has also been on every local Hip-Hop station in Sacramento, including 103.5 The Bomb, 102.5 KSFM, 90.3 KDVS, and co-hosted The Super Smash Brothers radio show on the now-defunct 96.5 KNOZ. MahtieBush is definitely a force to be reckoned with, not only in the Northern California scene but in the Hip-Hop industry as well. For booking info please hit me up at 916-271-2385.

MySpace URL:
http://www.myspace.com/mahtiebush916