Bad News, Good News, Bad News. Internet Radio “Fairness” Act Sponsor and Conservative UT Congressman Chaffetz Taunts Musicians; Admits to Belief in Evolution; Urges Government Interference In Markets.

Rep Jason Chaffetz R-UT “conservative” Republican from Utah and sponsor of the ironically named “Internet Radio Fairness Act” shocked his constituents by accidentally admitting to his belief in dinosaurs and evolution while attempting to taunt musicians and urging government interference in markets.  In response to musicians opposition to his bill he told The New York Times.

“The old-school dinosaurs are trying to help, but they’re stuck in the tar,” he said. “They can go talk to the pterodactyls.”

Never mind the taunt doesn’t make any sense. It brings up some intriguing questions:

Old school dinosaurs?  Are there new school dinosaurs? Who are the dinosaurs trying to help?  Musicians? Or Pandora? Or are the Musicians the dinosaurs?  Wouldn’t the pterodactyls be flying around and not stuck in the tar pits?  And who’s supposed to talk to the pterodactyls ? the other dinosaurs? Or the musicians? Do the pterodactyls represent internet radio? Are pterodactyls the implied “new school” dinosaurs? And I’m not trying to be purposely obtuse but I’ve been to the LaBrea tar pits and it was mammals like mastodons and sabre toothed tigers that got stuck in the tar pits.  Not dinosaurs.  Is this part of the metaphor I don’t understand? Is this a zen koan? Is the Congressman operating on a higher level of consciousness?

All kidding aside, should we really be surprised that Chaffetz could be so ideologically flexible? And to be clear there is nothing wrong with being ideologically flexible to a certain extent.  According to Wikipedia the anti-gay marriage conservative Utah legislator  is half brother of actor John Dukakis the adopted son of Governor Dukakis.  Chaffetz was originally a democrat.  Indeed he was the chair of the Dukakis For President campaign in Utah. Later in life he switched party affiliations to the Republican party.   With strong support for gay rights and democratic policies coming from his father and extended family thanksgiving dinners must be pretty complicated affairs at the Chaffetz house!

So it should be no surprise that this supposed free market advocate could be “ideologically flexible”  enough to sponsor a bill that asks the government to set prices; to pick winners and losers; and force musicians through government mandate to bail out a private company that continues to stick with a bad business model (one minute of ads an hour). Oh and this private company happens to be a campaign donor.

What happened to the free market ideals?  I guess that’s for dinosaurs.

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One thought on “Bad News, Good News, Bad News. Internet Radio “Fairness” Act Sponsor and Conservative UT Congressman Chaffetz Taunts Musicians; Admits to Belief in Evolution; Urges Government Interference In Markets.

  1. Trichordist…

    Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) bill:

    Interim Fairness in Radio Starts Today (FIRST) Act.

    “The legislation would address inequality and unfairness faced by performing artists and Internet radio in regard to rights and royalties.

    “Terrestrial radio companies have built into their businesses an exemption from paying a performance right,” said Nadler. “The lack of a performance royalty for terrestrial radio airplay is a significant inequity and grossly unfair. We can’t start a race to the bottom when it comes to royalty rates and compensation for artists. Artists deserve to be paid a market-based rate for their work, just like everyone else. The Interim FIRST Act would provide artists with fair compensation for the valuable creations they share with all of us.”

    The draft Interim FIRST Act recognizes that artists do not yet have a performance right in sound recordings over terrestrial radio. In order to properly compensate these creators, the bill would direct the Copyright Royalty Board to take the value of that intellectual property into account when deciding the royalty paid by a broadcaster for the Internet simulcast of its live radio music feed. It also would remove the special treatment provision that applies to satellite and cable radio for royalty rates, thereby assuring that all digital radio services pay under the same market-based rate standard.

    The adjustment of the royalty to be paid by a broadcaster for its live radio simulcast is only intended to be an interim step until such time as terrestrial radio pays a performance royalty for music airplay. It is a violation of fundamental principles of intellectual property that artists would be denied the right to control their own creations, as is the case now with sound recordings over broadcast radio. The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have a performance right for sound recordings over terrestrial radio.”

    http://nadler.house.gov/sites/nadler.house.gov/files/documents/NADLER_153_xml.pdf

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