Congress assists webcasters, SoundExchange as they near deal on royalties

A deal to save Internet radio services like Pandora and Live365 seems imminent and Congress is poised to pass legislation to give both sides time to finalize an agreement.

Here is an excerpt from an Associated Press story:

The two sides have been negotiating new royalty rates following the federal Copyright Royalty Board’s ruling in March 2007 that dramatically increased the rates that Internet radio stations must pay artists and record labels. Internet radio stations say the new rates — which most but not all are paying — would effectively put them out of business.

After months of talks, Webcasters and SoundExchange have recently moved closer to a deal. But because Internet radio companies operate under a government license, any final agreement needs congressional authorization. And with Congress preparing to adjourn at least until after the elections — and possibly until next year — lawmakers probably will not be around to provide approval when an accord is reached.

The House passed legislation on Saturday that would allow webcasters and SoundExchange to continue working on a deal while Congress is out of session, and that any deals struck between the parties would be legally binding until Congress is able to provide final approval.

And here is the latest blog post from Pandora CEO and two-time Technology and the Arts guest Tim Westergren:

We’re thrilled to let everyone know that the House bill passed! Thanks to your incredible support we were able to overcome the NAB’s efforts to derail us. Phone calls rained into the congressional offices over the past 36 hours. Just amazing.

We’re not done. We still need to get the bill through the Senate, which looks like it will be voting on the bill on Monday.

So stay tuned. We want to make sure the Senators know how important it is for them support our resolution. We’ll be reaching out again to ask you for one more push.

Our deepest gratitude.

Tim (Founder)

For those of you interested, NAB is the National Association of Broadcasters, which represents the large terrestrial broadcasters like Clear Channel. Seeing a webcasting deal was close, the NAB launched a lobbying effort to kill the legislation (HR 7084) in order to eliminate some competition. But thanks to a grass-roots effort by fans of Internet radio, that effort was thwarted.

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(T+A #44) Technology and the Arts: 9/24/2008

(T+A #44) Technology and the Arts: 9/24/2008

In this installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast, we share some interesting news, web sites and online resources we have come across recently, including Tunecore, a service that helps independent musicians get their songs on iTunes and other online music stores; and a recent conference on digital music analysis held at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Plus, we discuss a new digital media licensing agreement and the G-1 from T-Mobile, the first phone to use Google’s Android mobile operating system…and more! Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney. File size: 8 MB. Time: 16 min., 52 sec.

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts Podcast #44

Sorry for the delay in getting these show notes posted…been a hectic time for me. – BK

In this installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast, we share some interesting news, web sites and online resources we have come across recently, including Tunecore, a service that helps independent musicians get their songs on iTunes and other online music stores; and a recent conference on digital music analysis held at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Plus, we discuss a new digital media licensing agreement and the G-1 from T-Mobile, the first phone to use Google’s Android mobile operating system…and more! Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney. File size: 8 MB. Time: 16 min., 52 sec.

Related Links:

This was a solo podcast by Brian…here are some things he mentioned:

La fin est proche*

To All of Our Listeners/Readers:

If you listened to our last podcast or recently checked the 2008 schedule in the Media section of this blog, then you already know what this post is going to say. But please continue to read along.

A few months ago, John and I connected via Skype to record an installment of the podcast. Before we started recording the episode, we had a conversation about the future of the project.

At the time, John and his wife were about a month away from having their second child and Brian was super-busy with work and his musical activities with his friend, Christian Beach. As you may have noticed from the usual sound quality of our podcasts, we really do not have the luxury of being real meticulous when it comes to editing and refining our MP3 files. Still, when you factor in time for recording, editing, converting files, transferring files to the hosting site, and writing the blog posts, it comes out to at least five hours worth of work…five hours that are usually very hard to come by during a typical week for either of us.

We were falling prey to the most powerful enemy known to the casual blogger/podcaster – everyday life.

Anyway, during this conversation, we set an end date for the “Technology and the Arts” podcast. However, we also decided that we would keep the blog going and would – when time allowed for it – post the occasional podcast. But these podcasts wouldn’t necessarily be “Technology and the Arts” podcasts…they would be random thoughts on technology and the arts that we would post individually (one of John’s presentations, for instance) or collaboratively (perhaps at Trenton Computer Festival).

While trying to figure out a reasonable end date, we decided to push ahead to the end of 2008, which would put as the two-year mark for the podcast. If you were with us from the beginning, you would know that our first podcast was posted December 13, 2006. As it turns out, our last regularly scheduled podcast for 2008 falls on December 24, 2008 – Christmas Eve.

So that settled it for us. Hence, the last regular “Technology and the Arts” podcast will be posted December 24, 2008. A final gift to our loyal listeners.

We will still stop by and write a blog post or put up a podcast every now and then, but we’ll be taking some time off to focus on everyday life.

Who knows? We may decide to revive “Technology and the Arts” at some point…or we may go in another direction with another online venture.

No matter what happens, we have had a lot of fun doing these podcasts and greatly appreciate the opportunity it gave us to meet — physically and virtually — so many interesting people along the way.

Thank you for your support and your continued listening. Please stay tuned until our finale on December 24th. We hope to make it a very special episode.

Sincerely,

Brian Kelley & John LeMasney,
Technology and the Arts

* according to Google’s translation tool, “La fin est proche” means “The end is near” in French. Hopefully, our French-speaking listeners can send a note to correct us if that is wrong.

(T+A #43) Technology and the Arts: 9/10/2008

(T+A #43) Technology and the Arts: 9/10/2008

In this installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast, we share some interesting news, web sites and online resources we have come across recently, including Microsoft’s new commercials with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, Google’s new Chrome web browser, and the Large Hadron Collider. Plus, we discuss MySpace.com’s new Front to Back concert series, which will kick off with a one-time reunion of Ben Folds Five…and more! Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney. File size: 17.5 MB. Time: 37 min., 07 sec.

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts Podcast #43

In this installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast, we share some interesting news, web sites and online resources we have come across recently, including Microsoft’s new commercials with Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, Google’s new Chrome web browser, and the Large Hadron Collider. Plus, we discuss MySpace.com’s new Front to Back concert series, which will kick off with a one-time reunion of Ben Folds Five…and more! Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney. File size: 17.5 MB. Time: 37 min., 07 sec.

Related Links:

In Memoriam:

Here are some things John LeMasney mentioned:

Here are some things Brian Kelley mentioned