As First Reported by Kurt Hanson’s RAIN Newsletter:
President Obama signed the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 into law yesterday, giving the weight of law to any royalty agreements reached by SoundExchange and webcasters within the next 30 days. GovTrack notes however that the legislation, H.R. 2344, “will become law once administrative actions are complete.”
The bill was sponsored by Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Frederick Boucher (D-VA), John Conyers (D-MI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) in the House, and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) in the Senate. RAIN thanks and congratulates these members of Congress for their efforts in passing the Settlement Act.
The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 amends the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008, which was passed last year under the Bush Administration. The original bill gave Congressional approval to any royalty deal reached before February 15, 2009.
However, SoundExchange was not able to reach deals with all webcasters by that date, including “pureplay” webcasters, small commercial webcasters, and religious broadcasters.
The updated bill, just enacted by President Obama, will give these groups additional time to agree on royalty deals.