Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has released a letter, urging his colleagues to oppose the Internet Radio Fairness Act. The Hill reports that Corker wrote, "while the stated purpose of the IRFA is to achieve parity, this bill would interfere with property rights and in effect force America property owners and creators to provide a subsidy to digital radio service, primarily Pandora."
Corker adds that "it is incumbent on digital radio companies to develop and implement a business model that provides the revenue they need, rather than expect government to reduce their costs." He continued, "the standard for establishing rates for music or any American product should be based on marketplace benchmarks, not a below-market standard that favors one side."
Corker wrote that while "we all want Pandora, and Internet radio, to succeed and grow," "it can do so without legislation and without harming the artists it relies on." He concludes, "I agree that we should be working toward parity in the way royalties are determined. However, parity should be based on free market principles and achieved in a comprehensive way that levels the playing field for all copyright holders and across all mediums for music. Please join me in opposing S. 3609."
Last week, a House Subcommittee held a hearing, slated to discuss issues surrounding the Internet Radio Fairness Act. However, the hearing veered towards terrestrial radio and the oft-discussed Performance Royalty instead, with some members of Congress reportedly "unwilling" to discuss the details of the Fairness Act without tackling terrestrial radio's lack of a performance royalty.