Bipartisan Bill to Save Internet Radio – The deadline for instigating the absurd increase in music royalty rates for Webcasters (300% to 1200%!) has been moved from May 15 to July 15th, but meanwhile Senators Roy Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) had introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act which if passed could save Internet radio from bankruptcy. Companion legislation was also introduced in the House by Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL). Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, a leading Webcaster, said “we are very pleased by the introduction of the Internet Radio Equality Act. Their support shows an understanding of the invaluable exposure that Internet radio provides to emerging artists, as well as an acknowledgment of the diverse listening experience it offers to music lovers.”
The Internet Radio Equality Act would vacate the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision and set a 2006-2010 royalty rate at the same level currently paid by satellite radio services (7.5% of revenue.) The bill would also change the royalty rate-setting standard used in royalty arbitrations, so that the standards applying to webcasters would align with the standard that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations. The bill also resets the royalty rules for noncommercial radio such as NPR stations that offer Internet radio music. For more information on the SaveNetRadio coalition visit www.savenetradio.org
Two Films on Buddy Bolden – Twin films, meant to be debuted in tandem next year, deal with the story of the man who may just have created jazz – Charles (Buddy) Bolden. The first movie – made by a billionaire’s son and guitarist for a rock band, is titled Bolden, and is a musical biography starring Anthony Mackie. The second is a one-hour silent film, The Great Observer, in which a young boy named Louis dreams of playing the horn while becoming entangled with the denizens of New Orleans’ Storyville (played by ballerinas). The hope is to have the silent film accompanied by a live performance by Wynton Marsalis’ band. The director, Dan Pritzker, was inspired to seek that approach by attending a showing of Chaplin’s City Lights in Chicago, for which a live symphonic score was performed.