Home Pandora Lives a Little Longer, House Passes Webcaster Act

Pandora Lives a Little Longer, House Passes Webcaster Act

A ray of hope has been passed to Pandora and other web broadcasting services. Just yesterday, Pandor founder Tim Westergren issued a “call to arms” to its listeners. He pleaded with fans and supporters of the popular music-streaming service to urge their State Representative to vote for the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. This Act would give web radio broadcasters more time to negotiate outrageous royalty fees that have caused some to go out of business and put many more under the same pressure. Today that bill has been passed in the House.

Pandora Lives to Broadcast Another Day

According to CNet, the NAB dropped their efforts to eliminate the bill after a Saturday night meeting with Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) that addressed some of the groups concerns. They didn’t stop their either. The NAB has expressed that they will not oppose the bill when it moves to the Senate. When NAB’s efforts stopped, the bill was able to pass unanimously through the House.

While we like to think that Pandora listeners really stepped-up and made a stand for the service by answering Pandora’s call to arms, others have noted that,

Two other factors, however, likely played larger roles in getting the bill through the House: the lobbying efforts made by National Public Radio and some 12th-hour deal making to appease traditional radio broadcasters, who were trying to kill the legislation, according to sources.

Is it Enough Time?

While this is a huge success for web radio broadcasters, it’s not everlasting. The Act will allow web radio broadcasters to negotiate with the music industry only while Congress is out of session. They have until February 15th to settle upon a new royalty rate. While four months may seem like a long time, we understand how much of a hassle the music industry can be to the world of all things digital. However, Westergren has noted that they are now closer than ever to reaching a rate that everyone can agree with it. Here’s to hoping that rate is agreed upon before the end of January.


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