Two U.S. representatives introduced a bill last night as a final attempt to postpone the July 15 due date for Internet radio webcasters and simulcasters to begin paying new royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) for sound recordings.

House chairwoman of the Small Business Committee, Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., and ranking member Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, introduced HR 3015 to try delaying implementation of the new royalty rates for at least 60 days so negotiations between the webcasters, simulcasters and SoundExchange could continue without being affected by the deadline.

Sources say it's unlikely this bill could or would be passed quickly, especially since the Judiciary Committees of the House and Senate are the strongest forces to ultimately support or reject any copyright-related bill.

Velázquez and Chabot sent letters to the chairman and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, urging them to adopt this legislation. They also sent a letter to Sound Exchange and the Digital Media Assn. advising the groups to use the 60 days to make earnest negotiations.

Although the July 15 deadline to pay 2006 royalties looms over the negotiations currently ongoing between the parties, sources close to SoundExchange, labels and artists say that there is no present intention to actually enforce their rights by that deadline date; the CRB decision and rate change would have no impact on webcasters unless copyright holders decided to actually enforce their rights.