NAB Trying To Cut Off Pandora's Air Supply
from the can't-stand-the-heat,-huh? dept
We’ve already covered how Pandora will most likely need to shut down, if the royalty rates set for web streaming aren’t changed. While there were agreements earlier this week on some forms of online streaming royalties, it was not the ones that are the problem for Pandora. Pandora has been negotiating a more reasonable rate that would let the company survive, and it has been making progress. However, it needs a bit more time. Amazingly, Pandora, the RIAA and SoundExchange all agree that they’re making progress, and with a bit more time they can probably iron this out. To that end, Rep. Jay Inslee introduced a minor bit of legislation to give them more time to work things out.
So what happens? The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has started actively lobbying against the bill. Basically, the NAB recognizes that Pandora is a direct competitor to the terrestrial radio stations who make up its members. But, rather than compete, it’s hoping that the RIAA’s fight with Pandora will cause Pandora to go out of business. This is, of course, quite typical of the NAB’s lobbying efforts. Remember how strongly it fought against allowing XM and Sirius to merge. It was the same situation, where it was hoping to use legal efforts to kill off competitors, rather than competing in the market. Pandora is asking people to contact their congressional Reps. to make sure that the NAB isn’t allowed to cut off Pandora’s air supply, just as it gets close to (finally) working out an agreement to stay alive.