The Never Ending Assault on Internet Radio

I received the email quoted below today. It’s from Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora. No, I’m not special; if you have an account with Pandora, you probably got one of these too.

To me the letter pointed out that the war with the greedy lawyers at ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, RIAA, etc. is not over for Internet Broadcasters. Like government, there is no limit to how far these guys will go to exercise their greed. Wait, they write the laws and hand them over to the politicians to be enacted, so they’re worse! I’ll stop my rant now, and explain how those guys are not only greedy, but thieves, in a future blog either here or over at…

For now, I’d just like to repost the email as a reminder, in case you ignored it in your inbox. What Tim is complaining about affects Radio InfoWeb too, as well as all other Internet Broadcasters.

Hi there,

This is Tim, the founder of Pandora.

I am writing to ask for your urgent help. An important piece of legislation has just been introduced in Congress that could end long-standing discrimination against Internet radio. I’m asking that you contact your Senator to urge them to support the Internet Radio Fairness Act.

This bipartisan bill will correct the incredible inequity in how different digital radio formats are treated under the law when it comes to setting royalties. The difference is quite extraordinary. In 2011, Pandora paid over 50% of our revenues in performance royalties, while SiriusXM paid less than 10%.

As a lifelong musician, I’m fully supportive of artist compensation, but this situation can’t continue. Internet radio is bringing millions of listeners back to music, and is playing the songs of tens of thousands of promising artists who would otherwise never be heard. It should be given a fair chance to succeed.

To voice your support for this initiative, please reach out to your Senator today and say you support the Internet Radio Fairness Act, bill number 3609.

Senator: Charles Schumer
Click here to email:

If you’d like more information about the Internet Radio Fairness Act you can learn more here.

It’s crucial that Congress hears from fans of Internet radio today. Thanks for your support, and thanks for being a loyal listener.
Tim Westergren

Tim Westergren
Founder, Pandora

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