Earlier in the week, we noted how difficult it was to come up with "good" internet laws that politicians had enacted. Perhaps we should do that more often, as since then, legislation has been proposed that would overturn the pointless ban on online gambling, while now, two congressmen have introduced a bill that would overturn the recent decision of the Copyright Royalty Board to drastically increase internet radio royalty rates. The CRB rejected webcasters' appeal of those new rates (which were pushed through by the RIAA). The bill sets compromise rates that would be significantly lower for most, if not all, net radio programmers: 7.5 percent of revenues "directly related to" its broadcasts, or 33 cents per hour of recordings transmitted to a single user. The original article says the law would also apply to "satellite and cable radio" broadcasters, but it's not clear if that extends to companies like XM and Sirius, which are locked in fight with RIAA over the level of royalties they pay, with the industry group wanting 30 percent of their revenues. Obviously the bill's a long way from becoming law, and the RIAA is sure to send its lobbyists to visit its friends on Capitol Hill to see what they can do. While it's nice to see these good internet laws, it's too bad they all seem to exist solely to reverse bad ones.
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