Mr. Pandora’s Court Packing Plan in the Screw You Deal: Friends Don’t Let Friends Get IRFA’d II
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1
Congressmen Polis and Chaffetz are the two principal sponsors of IRFA–the “Internet Radio Fairness (for everyone but artists) Act”. As you read the bill (link here) there are so many random gotchas in it that it reads like these two decided to make a shark’s belly stew in a witch’s cauldron. Just like the contents of a shark’s belly, their bill is filled with debris–a license plate here, and old boot there, a drum stick and a Stratocaster go floating by.
Pandora and the National Association of Broadcasters are not only running to Congress to use their lobbying power to screw artists, what these two want is to completely gut the Copyright Royalty Judges, their selection process and the kinds of decisions they can make. This in addition to screwing artists on the rates under a compulsory license that the artists cannot refuse to grant because the power of Congress compels them.
Someone else tried this once–recall President Roosevelt’s plan to pack the US Supreme Court when he wasn’t getting his “New Deal” legislation through the Court. (See the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.) However you feel about the New Deal, it wasn’t like the President said that he didn’t agree with how the Supreme Court was treating a public company, say Ford Motor Company, and so he was going to change the court until it produced a decision that forced Ford’s suppliers to sell to Ford on terms that Ford liked.
That wouldn’t have been the New Deal, that would have been the Screw You Deal.
Once again, Pandora proves that it’s just another crony capitalist, using market power to stack the deck against musicians. The arrogance of this legislation is quite breathtaking.
Meet Tim Westergren, The Man 2.0. Time Magazine chose him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World? How about the 100 Most Arrogant People In the World?