Webcaster Settlement Act Passed by Senate

WASHINGTON - The Webcaster Settlement Act was approved Tuesday by the U.S. Senate.

The legislation passed in the House over the weekend and was introduced to allow webcasters to continue to negotiate new royalty agreements with copyright owners while Congress is busy with the elections, according to Digital Media Wire.

"This legislation will enable the Digital Media Association (DiMA) and our member companies, and all Internet radio services, to continue negotiating royalty rates with SoundExchange for the years 2006-2015," DiMA executive director Jonathan Potter said. "We are very hopeful of reaching agreement soon, and thereby creating long-term stability that will re-energize the Internet radio business."

Many webcasters have said they might be pushed offline because the royalty rates set by the Copyright Royalty Board are so steep.

The bill will now be sent to President Bush for review.