The controversial bill, supported by the likes of Pandora and Clear Channel and opposed by groups representing artists and sound-recording owners, would change the standard by which Internet radio royalties are set by a panel of judges.
IRFA is indeed dead for now, but it was really killed by the calendar. Introduced late in the 112th Congress, IRFA was unlikely to be passed before the 113th Congress was sworn in today. Instead, it set up a political fight that is expected to carry on for years. Sources say the bill's momentum was sapped at the November 29th hearing in Washington. Lawmakers criticized the National Association of Broadcasters representative for seeking lower online royalty rates even though terrestrial radio stations do not pay sound recording owners a performance royalty. The year ended without the bill going into markup and receiving a vote in committee.
Although the hearing did not go well for IRFA, the bill seems like a good bet to be introduced again in 2013. Since Its passage could lower digital music services' royalty obligations by hundreds of millions of dollars. Insiders tell Billboard.biz the new bill could be re-introduced under a different name and could have different language than the one seen last year.