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Vince Gill, Clint Black and More Stand Up to Pandora Internet Radio

Jana Kramer Vince Gill at Grammys

According to The Tennessean the popular Internet radio giant Pandora has a congressional request to lower its royalty payment rates. They feel that the current rate arrangement seems to put them at a disadvantage and is discriminatory. The bill is called the “InternetRadio Fairness Act” and proposes to significantly lower the company’s costs by making Internet radio services the same royalty payment structure that is applied to cable and satellite radio. The National Association of Broadcasters supports the bill. However, just like with everything there is another side to this story. Many artists including country singers Vince Gill, Clint Black and Jana Kramer are among 125 other artists across all genres of music that have signed an open letter opposing Pandora’s request.

The artists believe that Pandora will be taking royalties away from thousands of musicians. In addition MusicFirst, a group backed by major record companies, opposes the bill. They argue that the bill would subsidize Pandora’s operations.

MusicFirst and SoundExchange, a non-profit performance rights organization sponsored the opposition letter, which will be published in this weekend’s Billboard magazine.

The letter is reprinted below and can also be seen here along with the full list of artists who have signed it!

Here is the letter:

“We are big fans of Pandora. That’s why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade.

Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in this new digital world.

Pandora’s principal asset is the music.

Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That’s not fair and that’s not how partners work together.

Congress has many pressing issues to consider, but this is not one of them. Let’s work this out as partners and continue to bring fans the great musical experience they rightly expect.”

What do you think? Should Pandora’s bill pass?

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