New Bill would stave off CRB rates while both sides negotiate

Concern that
webcasters and artists would be “irreparably harmed” by proposed royalty rates has spurred the introduction of a new bill that aims  to give parties more time to negotiate a settlement.

The bipartisan legislation, titled H.R. 3015, was introduced by Chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business, Nydia M. Velázquez (pictured below left) and Ranking Member Steve Chabot, and would postpone the implementation of the CRB decision by 60 days, during which time webcasters and the recording industry would be charged with crafting a compromise.

nydia velazquezVelázquez and Chabot (pictured below right) sent letters to Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Howard Coble (R-NC), Chair and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee respectively, urging them to adopt H.R. 3015. A letter sent to SoundExchange and DiMA also encouraged negotiations and private resolution of the royalty issues.

Sources close to the bill expect H.R. 3015 to be passed through Congress quickly. The adoption of the new legislation would not impact the standing of the Internet Radio Equality Act (H.R. 2060 and S. 1353), which has now received the support of over 130 co-sponsors in the House and continues to gain cosponsors in the Senate.

The Committee on Small Business’ involvement in the matter increased after a June 28 hearing [previous RAIN coverage here] in which webcasters, artists and members of the recording industry testified about the impact of the proposed CRB rates on their businesses. A statement from the Committee notes that after that hearing, “the consensus was that fair compensation to musicians was crucial, but that the royalties as they currently stand could be prohibitively expensive for small internet broadcasters.”

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