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Bill strives for equity in digital marketplace

WASHINGTON — Two members of Congress from entertainment industry-heavy districts have introduced a bill intended to resolve differences in copyright requirements among cable, satellite and Internet radio.

The Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act of 2006 — Perform Act, for short — was introduced into the House on Friday by Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Mary Bono (R-Calif.). A companion bill was introduced last month in the Senate.

According to a statement announcing the new House bill, “This bill is designed to create parity among the technologies so they may compete on the same playing field to provide consumers their choice of music, anytime, in any place, in any format.”

Berman and Bono said they are also concerned about the ability to create “unlicensed music libraries” through all three delivery platforms. “The Perform Act seeks the appropriate balance between fostering innovation of technology and ensuring rightful compensation to artists,” statement said.

“While I strongly support technological innovation, the e-commerce marketplace only works if copyrights are protected and the creators and rightful owners are compensated,” Bono said. Recording Industry Assn. of America topper Mitch Bainwol welcomed the bill, saying in a statement, “From the Senate to the House, from both the Judiciary and the Commerce committees, on both sides of the aisle, congressional leaders are stressing the need for a level playing field for digital radio services.”

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