By: Spacelab Research Staff
The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 has cleared through the senate and is on its way to the Oval Office to be signed by the President. The bill, called HR7084 in congressional geekspeak, passed the House of Representatives on September 27th and the Senate on September 30th.
Welcome news for anyone from Pandora to our own Spacelab Radio, the bill is the first in a series of steps of walking towards a universal set of rates that can be paid by webcasters for playing copyrighted music. The bill basically allows for webcasters and copyright holders to try and reach a settlement on their own by February 15th, 2009. If they can't, then Congress will intervene.
You may remember the Internet Radio Equality Act and the Perform Act, proposed in the past but left to (seemingly) die on the vine in Congress. It's not like they had anything more important to be voting on, right? Now the Webcaster Settlement Act will allow the process to move forward for the approval of settlements.
"The Webcaster Settlement Act seems to only adopt a simplified process for the approval of settlements that may be reached by the parties on or before February 15, 2009 – a settlement process that had been previously used in the Small Webcaster Settlement Act (the language of which this bill amends)," reads a posting on the Broadcast Law Blog.