The Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012 is a bipartisan bill (e.g. proposed by team Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. Congress) set to level royalty rates for streaming online music; bringing what internet radio stations pay in line with what terrestrial (land-based local) broadcast stations pay to play music. Now, there are other elements of the bill that are important; but like most bills, the text is wordy and complex. I have done a bit of research, and here is what you need to know if you are an artist or have a stake in helping artists or internet radio stations.
‘This bipartisan bill will end royalty rate discrimination against internet radio and bring greater fairness to our industry. Today, the discrimination is extraordinary. In 2011, Pandora paid over 50% of revenues in performance royalties, while SiriusXM paid less than 10%. Internet radio brings millions of listeners back to music, plays the songs of tens of thousands of promising working artists, enabling them to build their audience while receiving fair compensation.’
Plain and simple: Alongside noncommercial (college and community) radio stations, Internet radio stations have been welcoming independent artists’ music for years. The cheaper it is for them to spin, the greater the chance we all win. Good (e.g. NOT commercial) music in mass quantities. I’m in! Support this legislation y’all (House Bill HR 6480 and Senate Bill S 3609). Ask your Congressperson about it.