Webcasters have faced inequity in the copyright royalty system for years. Two years ago ITIF suggested that the entire idea behind the statutory license was fundamentally flawed. Is it right to assign every piece of music the same value? While this type of one-size-fits-all agreement might have made sense in a pre-Internet era, it is an anachronism in today’s digital world.
In this WebMemo, ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro argues that Congress should promote technology neutral policies that do not unfairly advantage or disadvantage any particular technology or business model. Moreover, Congress should ensure that the rules and regulations governing the royalty rate setting process are fair and reasonable for all broadcast platforms. As Congress considers “The Performance Rights Act,” a bill to eliminate the exemption on performance royalties that terrestrial radio has enjoyed for years, it should keep these principles in mind.