Getting IRFA’d: Pandora Lobbyists Shakedown Continues as The National Association of Broadcasters lines up to oppose artists–again
Remember that the United States is one of a handful of countries that deny artists a performance royalty for sound recordings on broadcast radio. Those radio stations–through their lobbyists the National Association of Broadcasters–are lined up behind Pandora on the “willing shakedown” legislation carried by Reps. Jason Chaffetz, Jared Polis and Google fanboy Senator Ron Wyden. (This according to Politico’s Morning Tech):
PANDORA ‘FRIENDS’ BROADCASTERS ON NET RADIO BILL – The Internet radio company is pushing for legislation that would give parity to webcasters on royalty rates paid to artists. A bill that would have accomplished as much never made it to the floor last Congress – but this time, the Internet radio crowd can count on the broadcasters to help gin up support.
Eliza Krigman reports on the shift: “Back in 2009, NAB was singing a different tune when Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) championed the Performance Rights Act.
That bill would have required broadcasters to pay artists for music played on FM and AM radio, and included a compromise aimed at lowering the royalty rate for Internet radio companies.
The NAB fought against that bill …. But the new bill, dubbed the Internet Radio Fairness Act, does not address the performance fee for AM and FM radio. That frees up NAB to lend their support this time around.”
In an operation run by K Street lobbyists for Pandora’s Wall Street buddies, we should not be surprised.
Fortunately, the Musicians Union has posted a letter you can send to your representatives if you want to oppose IRFA.