According to this article, Rep. Inslee (D-WA) and Rep. Manzullo (R-IL) have introduced The Internet Radio Equality Act. From my brief reading, it nullifies the previous decision of the Copyright Royalty Board that started this mess, replaces the current langauge with the same standard used for satellite radio, and sets transitional rates until the next CRB hearing under the new standard.
Inslee has long been a friend to tech and new media and a foe of media consolidaion. In 2006, he joined with Markey and others to sponsor a stand alone NN bill after COPE passed out of the House Commerce Committee. Inslee has also been a champion on unlicensed access in the broadcast white spaces and supported municipal broadband.
The folks at SaveNetRadio now have an action alert on their front page to get nfolks to contact their representatives to get this through and signed into law before the new rates kick in on May 15.
I am reminded of an old saying that one of the professors at my law school alma mater was want to say: “Dogs get kicked; hogs get et.” Here, SoundExchange decided to act like a hog. As a result, they may get their cushy litte standard completely reset.
At least until May 15, stay tuned . . . . .
Sorry this is so late, but it’s been a busy time, what with Passover and the rush for the FCC’s upcoming 700 MHz auction. But I figure it is still worthwhile to keep folks updated on net neutrality at the FCC.
Of course, last month’s FCC meeting had a lot going on. Take a gander at the agenda for the March FCC meeting (March 22). Notice anything unusual? Yep, it’s veerrrrrryyyyy loooooonnnnnggggg. Thirteen items. So long, in fact, that Chairman Martin called an “intermission” in the middle. At one point Commissioner McDowell sheepishly admited he was still drafting his separate statement on the item to be voted, becasuse he hadn’t gotten a chance beforehand.
I wish I had time to go into detail on these things. I hope to eventually catch up and write about things like the access to inside wiring proceeding and the digital radio rules.
But for now, I will limit myself to the declaratory ruling ruling on wireless services and the Notice of Inquiry on Net Neutrality. As discussed below, the FCC majority once again proves that while they can’t deregulate fast enough, taking action to protect our right to speak freely with one another always needs “more study.”
More below . . . .
So how about that mid-term election? Of course, even before the dust settled, folks have scrambled to opine what changes and what happens next.
Unsurprisingly, most of the guesswork in media and telecom focuses on what we know right now – we know how Burns and Allen used to vote. We know (at least somewhat) about the priorities of likely House Commerce Chair Dingell, likely (unless he takes something else) House Telecom Subcom Chair Markey, Likely Senate Commerce Chair Inouye (who may or may not reconstitute the Telecom Subcommittee), and likely leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (and other existing shakers and movers).
But guessing how the new Congress will tackle these issues presents a lot more complicated guessing – particularly without knowing who serves on what Committees.
My guesses, and what activists need to do to drive the agenda, below. . . .
From what I have heard and seen on the House Whip Schedule, the vote on COPE will likely take place this Friday (6/9). On Wednesday June 7, the House Rules Committee will determine what, if any, amendments members may offer. For example, they may or may not allow Markey to offer his Network Neutrality Act of 2006, or allow Sensenbrenner to offer the version of the Internet Freedom and Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Judiciary Committee as an amendment. After that, the package goes to the floor for debate and a vote.
The smart money expects passage of COPE because the House Republican leadership backs it and enough Dems will defect to provide a comfortable margin. OTOH, public pressure keeps pushing members to change their position to support NN. Not that smart money or conventional wisdom believes in democracy anymore, but I am hopeful we can hand them another surprise.
Meanwhile, Moby has prepared this video that tells you how you can call your representative and tell him or her to support net neutrality.
Remember, don’t make Moby cry! Support Net Neutrality and help spank the telcos!
Stay tuned . . .