The US is hunkering down for several years of ill-tempered lobbying regarding royalty rates for online radio. The latest development is the formation of a new group, the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition, which includes Pandora and Clear Channel among its founding members. The group will lobby for royalty rates that in the words of Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman “will lead to a healthy, sustainable Internet radio marketplace” (i.e. much lower). It’s backing the proposed Internet Radio Fairness Act which would do just that, but music industry body musicFIRST was fast with its unimpressed response. “This bill is now commonly known as the ‘Screw Artists Act’ because it would produce a windfall to millionaires, mandate a pay cut for artists, and provide no benefits to subscribers…”

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