House considers bill to give Internet radio a royalty boost

Nov. 28, 2012, Fairfax, VA—The Intellectual Property subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday in a hearing considered legislation by Rep. Jason Chaffetz that would compel the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to reassess royalty rates paid by Internet radio providers, bringing their costs more in line with fees paid by cable and satellite providers.

In a recent oped for The Daily Caller, Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson called the current arrangement “unfair, anti-competitive royalty rate discrimination” that favors satellite and cable radio.

“Rather than organically promoting supply and demand within the free market, the current system is based on the government imposing an unfair and discriminatory burden on one segment of the economy so that another might benefit,” Wilson added.

Wilson also fingered three foreign-owned record labels he said dominate the industry. “These three labels collectively control roughly 80 percent of the music that’s played over America’s airwaves — and for years they have relied on the CRB to impose music rate structures that guarantee the preservation of this monopoly,” Wilson wrote.

Urging the House to pass the legislation, Wilson called the Internet the future of radio. “The Internet has become a vibrant component of virtually every marketplace on earth — removing barriers, expanding consumer choices and enhancing economic competitiveness.”

In a statement Wilson said “It is not up to the government to preserve the legacy media and hold Internet providers back. This type of cronyism only suppresses innovation when it is time for government to get out of the way.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.