Pandora's Westergren Speaks Out Against New Royalty Legislation
August 24, 2012
Pandora co-FounderTim Westergren has spoken out against the proposed legislation announced earlier this week that would revamp Internet radio royalties. Instead of the Interim Fairness in Radio Starts Today (FIRST) Act proposed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Westergren supports a bill by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). The Chaffetz legislation would set royalties for satellite radio and online radio at the same rate.
In a statement, Westergren said, "The current system for establishing royalty rates is astonishingly unfair. It is imperative that a solution is adopted quickly to correct this inequity because the next rate determination for Internet radio begins in less than 18 months." He added that "Congressman Nadler’s discussion draft would only perpetuate this hypocrisy and worsen an already flawed legislative mistake that is discriminating against new technology and hampering innovation. Congress should embrace the Chaffetz approach."
The Hill reports that Nadler has responded to Westergren with his own statement, saying "The solution is not to get to parity at the expense of artists as Rep. Chaffetz’s bill proposes. We can and should both level the playing field for Internet radio and ensure that artists are fairly compensated, which is what my bill would do."