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Music Takes Center Stage In Congress Today

WASHINGTON (Hypebot) – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is expected debate the newly introduced Webcaster Settlement Act today at a hearing that will also consider the Performance Rights Act that would require broadcast radio stations to pay performers royalties similar to those which songwriters receive.

Digital broadcasters currently pay performance royalties and it is their overall payments that the Webcaster Settlement Act 2009 attempts to address. Introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, the bill provides webcasters with a new opportunity to obtain financial relief from the Copyright Royalty Board's 2007 decision on royalty rates. Webcasters hope to negotiate royalty rates similar to those set for cable and satellite broadcasters.

"We are hopeful that the House Judiciary Committee will address this important radio parity issue when it considers the Performance Rights Act this week, and that a revised standard will in the future be the basis of more reasonable CRB royalty decisions so that future Webcaster Settlement Acts will not be necessary," Jonathan Potter of the Digital Media Association (DiMA), which represents many large, said in a statement.

Hypebot will track this developing story.