The Internet Radio Fairness Act has come under new opposition from the N.A.A.C.P.

From Media Decoder:

The Internet Radio Fairness Act, a federal bill supported by Pandora, Clear Channel and others that would change the way online radio royalties are set, has come under new opposition from the N.A.A.C.P., which said in a letter to members of Congress that the bill would “unfairly deprive artists and performers of fair pay for their hard work.”

The bill, introduced in September, would direct a panel of federal judges to use the same standard in setting royalty rates for Internet radio that they use for satellite and cable radio services, a change that Pandora and others believe would substantially lower their rates.

It already has been opposed by music industry groups, as well as by the A.F.L.-C.I.O. But the N.A.A.C.P. letter, dated last Friday and publicized by a music industry coalition on Thursday, adds new pressure, portraying the issue not just as a business dispute, but as a civil rights matter.

“Quite frankly, the I.R.F.A. bill fails the basic test of economic fairness and discriminates against singers and musicians by slashing the compensation they receive when their work is played over digital online radio,” says the letter, which was signed by Hilary O. Shelton, director of the N.A.A.C.P.’s Washington bureau.

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