Thursday, July 27, 2006

Update on Senate Music Vote

Senate Delays Music Vote
July 27, 2006By Brooks Boliek, The Hollywood Reporter
SOURCE: TheHollywoodReporter.com

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed a vote on legislation that requires satellite, cable and Internet broadcasters to pay fair market value for digitally transmitting music.While Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., told Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that he was willing to have the committee vote on the legislation, he told her he did not think the legislation was ripe for committee consideration, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter."I think it is unwise to try to move the bill unless a consensus is reached," Specter scrawled on the bottom of the typewritten letter.Feinstein had asked Specter to have the committee vote on the bill last week. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Senate Republican leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and is being pushed by the RIAA, music publishers and musicians groups.They contend that the new digital offerings by broadcasters, satellite radio, cable and Internet companies unfairly compete against such download services as iTunes and Rhapsody, which pay royalties on digitally recorded music.Broadcasters, satellite radio and the other services oppose the legislation, contending that the new services allow people to do digitally what they can do in the analog world.While the committee would move the bill this week, the music industry remains confident that a deal can be worked out."We understand that the chairman has indicated that he is committed to continuing the process ... and is hopeful that a resolution can be reached promptly," an RIAA spokesperson said. "We are pleased with his commitment and will participate fully in the process."

7/27/2006 02:28:00 PM

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