Nadler bill would pay for indie labels and bands to go to overseas trade shows

Friday, December 14, 2012 - 12:05pm

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is the Congressman proposing the Interim FIRST Act (more here); it's his (and the record industry) response to the Internet Radio Fairness Act.

(Briefly, instead of bringing webcast royalty procedures in line with other forms of digital radio by implementing the "801(b)" standard (which is what the IRFA would do), Nadler's proposal (it's not yet a bill) would move other forms of digital radio (satellite, cable) to webcasting's controversial "willing buyer willing seller" standard. It'd also overcharge broadcasters for streaming since they're exempt from royalties for their broadcasts (call it a "pound of flesh-ectomy").)

The new news is that Nadler has now introduced legislation -- the Making United States Independents Competitive (MUSIC) Act (here) -- he says will "make it easier for small, independent music labels in the United States to access global music markets."

The bill calls for the government to "give priority to assistance to United States independent music label companies and the musical recording artists of such companies to attend international music trade shows. Such assistance shall include admission costs to such music trade shows and support for travel, booth construction, and touring expenses related to such music trade shows... There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2013 through 2017 to carry out this section."

Nadler's announcement is here.

RAIN Analysis: You'll remember that the music industry successfully roused the ire of several fiscal conservative groups like Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, and Citizens Against Government Waste (here) to oppose the IRFA. Perhaps those same groups will have an opinion on this bill.

Competing royalty bills to come up in next Congress, reports Billboard

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 10:50pm

Word has officially come that the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will hold its hearing on Internet royalties on Wednesday (as we covered here). The hearing begins at 11:30am ET in the Rayburn Building. The witness list hasn't yet been published (we assume it will be, here). reports the Internet Radio Fairness Act (covered in RAIN here) will be re-introduced in Congress next year. It was introduced to this Congress by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Jared Polis (D-CO) in the House and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the Senate. The news source also finds it likely the competing bill, Rep. Jerrold Nadler's (D-NY) Interim FIRST Act (more in RAIN here) will be introduced.

The IRFA will attempt to bring the Internet radio royalty process in line with those for other forms of digital radio (satellite, cable) by requiring the use of the 801(b) standard (more here). Internet radio rates are uniquely determined by trying to replicate a market rate via a standard known as "willing buyer willing seller."

Nadler's Interim FIRST Act would apply "willing buyer willing seller" to satellite and cable radio royalty settings. Additionally, it would require broadcasters to pay a royalty for streaming their online content that would, in effect, "make up for broadcasters not paying a fee when they play artists' songs over the air."'s coverage is here.

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