The House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet is likely to hold a hearing on the issue of music and copyright on or around November 27, 28 or 29, sources tell Billboard.biz. A representative for the House Judiciary Committee told Billboard.biz a date has not yet been announced and declined to comment further.
Testimony will focus on the Internet Radio Fairness Act, versions of which were introduced in the House by Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and in the Senate by Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The bill's primary goal is to instruct the Copyright Royalty Board to apply the same 801(b) standard for setting statutory rates for webcasters as it currently does for satellite radio and cable radio companies. An opposing bill, currently in draft form, by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) would apply an equal standard -- the "willing buyer, willing seller" standard" -- for webcasters, satellite radio and cable radio. Current webcasting statutory rates expire in 2015.
The hearing is likely to hear testimony from two witnesses on each side of the issue, according to sources, who add that it's likely Pandora and a terrestrial broadcaster will testify on behalf of the side of the Internet Radio Fairness Act, while a representative for SoundExchange and a recording artist are likely to testify on the other side of the issue.
The Nadler bill is unlikely to be introduced this year and the Internet Radio Fairness Act won't go anywhere in the current lame-duck Congress, sources say. In any case, insiders feel the Subcommittee hearing will be a good opportunity to set up the issues for 2013.