Earlier today, the U.S. Senate approved the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 (HR 7084). This is good news for Internet radio operators like Pandora who were warning that failure to pass the Act could mean the end for them. Essentially, this gives Pandora and others additional time to negotiate with SoundExchange, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties, to reach an agreement on reduced royalty rates.
Webcasters and the music industry now have until February 15, 2009 to reach an agreement that would extend as far as the year 2015. These agreements will replace the royalty rates set in place by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) back in March 2007.