Yesterday the Internet Radio Fairness Act got a hearing before congress and promptly got it’s ass kicked. I mean there is really no polite way of saying it. Democrats and Republicans alike were scornful and clearly not interested in hearing Pandora’s ginned up unfairness crap. Not only did they seem to disagree with Pandora’s argument for lower royalties the committee went completely off the reservation and began to question why terrestrial radio doesn’t pay royalties to performers. At one point Rep John Conyers asks:
“I’m still trying to figure out why artists and performers who play 24-7 on terrestrial radio don’t get a dime.”
My favorite part was Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte’s scornful reproach to Pandora’s CEO Joe Kennedy
“Here we are again, Mr Kennedy, when is a deal a deal?”
The Congressman was referring to the fact that just 3 years ago Pandora was crowing about the deal they had made with record labels, publishers and artists for royalties. Now instead of trying to increase their paid subscribers, or increase advertising revenue, they are back asking congress for a handout.
And doesn’t congress have better things to do? A fiscal cliff or something?