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Pandora's Westergren Opposes Nadler Bill

8-22-2012

While Pandora founder Tim Westergren wants parity for every company delivering audio, he's come out against New York Congressman Jerry Nadler's recently circulated draft legislation. Nadler's bill adds another fee to radio - paid directly to artists - and puts cable and satellite on the same royalty-setting standard as Internet radio. Westergren said in a statement “The current system for establishing royalty rates is astonishingly unfair. Fairness demands that all music related rate settings utilize the same standard."

Westergren is in favor of competing draft legislation by Rep. Jason Chaffetz aimed at lowering the royalty fees Internet radio services pay so they're level with other providers. Westergren said, “Congressman Nadler’s discussion draft would only perpetuate this hypocrisy and worsen an already flawed legislative mistake that is discriminating against new technology and hampering innovation. Congress should embrace the Chaffetz approach.”

Here is Westergren's full statement:

"Pandora continues to support the approach outlined in Representative Jason Chaffetz’s (R-UT) discussion draft of the Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012 which would immediately end the discrimination against internet radio by adopting the widely accepted 801(b) standard for determining royalty rates under the Copyright Act."
 
"The current system for establishing royalty rates is astonishingly unfair. It is imperative that a solution is adopted quickly to correct this inequity because the next rate determination for Internet radio begins in less than 18 months."
 
"The 801(b) standard is the market-based standard used to establish rates for cable and satellite radio and has been used successfully for more than 30 years. Unlike the “Willing Buyer – Willing Seller” standard, that is currently used to establish Internet radio rates, the 801(b) standard has never required Congressional intervention and it has also never been challenged by the music industry. In fact, the recording industry embraces this very standard when it comes to determining what they pay songwriters, but insists on using the "Willing Buyer-Willing Seller" model when it comes to what internet radio pays them. Fairness demands that all music related rate settings utilize the same 801(b) standard."
 
"Congressman Nadler’s discussion draft would only perpetuate this hypocrisy and worsen an already flawed legislative mistake that is discriminating against new technology and hampering innovation. Congress should embrace the Chaffetz approach."




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