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Performance Rights in House Judiciary’s Plans

Subcommittee GOP assignments made

Look for the performance rights royalty issue to be a key issue before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee this Congress.

We’ve reported the subpanel on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet planned several hearings on Internet music royalties.

This week, House Judiciary Chairman and Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte confirmed the panel plans to hold several hearings on the topic, according to The Hill.

Goodlatte previously chaired the subcommittee; North Carolina Republican Rep. Howard Coble now holds that gavel.

Pandora has said some 50% of its revenue goes towards royalty payments, an unsustainable business model, according to an equity expert who testified previously on the subject before the panel last fall. The Internet audio company has been lobbying for passage of a bill by Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) that would put Internet radio royalties on the same formula as those paid by satellite radio and cable audio services like Muzak.

The record labels and artists oppose the bill, saying its passage would result in recording artists and musicians receiving lower royalty payments.

The topic came up as Goodlatte was discussing his selections for GOP subcommittee assignments for this session of Congress.