Congressman Christopher Shays, Pandora and the Webcaster Settlement Act

Last month Pandora posted a blog entry called CONGRESSIONAL EMERGENCY, I sent an email to my representative, Chris Shays. I got a response today from Rep. Shays, so here it is in its entirety. I can appreciate that not only did he support what I was concerned with, but his office took time to mention Pandora and some statistics.

Dear Robert:

Thank you for contacting me expressing support for H.R. 7084, the Webcaster Settlement Act. I appreciate your taking the time to share your views.

I supported H.R. 7084 when it passed the House by a voice vote on September 27. The legislation permits webcasters, such as Pandora, to negotiate royalty rates and terms other than those determined by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in its May 2007 decision.

You may be interested to know, I am a cosponsor of H.R. 2060, the Internet Radio Equality Act. This legislation will reverse the recent CRB decision and change the royalty rate-setting standard that applies to commercial Internet radio royalty arbitration’s so it is the same standard that applies to satellite radio.

While I believe webcasters should still pay royalties, it seems to me such a dramatic increase in royalties will have a negative impact on Internet radio. In March, the CRB made the decision to increase royalty rates for webcasters. These increases start retroactively at $0.0008 per song in 2006 and climb to $0.0019 per song in 2010.

According to Nielsen Media Research, 70 million Americans listen to online radio each month.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office again. If you would be interested in receiving my e-newsletter to update you about my work on your behalf in Washington, or for other information, please visit my website at to sign up or to contact me.


Christopher Shays
Member of Congress

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