Posts Tagged ‘Marsha Blackburn’
April 29th, 2015 at 4:29 pm
Rep. Blackburn Introduces Important Property Rights Bill – The Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act (PRMA)
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Representative Marsha Blackburn (R – Tennessee) is perhaps the most steadfast property rights advocate in Congress.  In that vein, she has joined Rep. Anna Eshoo (D – California) in introducing another important piece of proposed legislation:  the Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act (PRMA).

Under current law, terrestrial radio broadcasters exploit a loophole that allows them to play songs without compensating artists who created and performed them.  That stands in contrast to other forms of radio transmission – including satellite and Internet radio – that justifiably pay the performers whose songs they play.  Terrestrial radio companies thus earn billions of dollars in advertising revenues largely on the basis of songs for which artists remain uncompensated, contrary to fairly straightforward concepts of fairness.

Ironically, some of the companies that own those terrestrial radio stations turn around and ask Congress to require cable and satellite providers to compensate them for retransmission of television programming of stations they own.  Fair enough that they be paid for such retransmission, but the same logic should in turn apply to their own radio programming.

Representative Blackburn’s proposed PRMA would correct that ongoing unfairness by requiring broadcasters to practice what they preach and pay performers for the works they’ve worked hard to create.

Importantly, the legislation would also interrupt broadcasters’ effort to force tech companies to include an analog FM radio chip in smartphones and other mobile devices.  If device manufacturers wish to include FM chips in their products, that’s all well and good.  Indeed, many already do.  And if consumers demand products that include them, then the market will respond accordingly.  But it’s simply not something the federal government should be dictating.

By the way, that FM chip mandate proposal is also a sneaky way for terrestrial broadcasters to expand their exploitation of playing songs without compensating artists.  After all, as noted above, Internet broadcasters must pay artists under current law.  But by asking the federal government to compel FM chip inclusion, terrestrial broadcasters would be able to expand their loophole to mobile devices.

That is the epitome of crony capitalism.

We at CFIF remain strong defenders of property rights, including intellectual property rights for artists and musicians.  Accordingly, we applaud Rep. Blackburn for her leadership on this issue, and encourage our supporters and activists to ask their own elected representatives to stand alongside her.

October 28th, 2009 at 10:59 am
Rep. Blackburn Introduces Internet Freedom Bill
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Despite recent bureaucratic attempts to regulate and control the Internet, there are at least some in Congress who realize that an open Internet cannot coexist with government regulation.

This week, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced H.R. 3942, a bill to block the FCC’s net neutrality regulations.  As Blackburn lamented, “The Internet is the last truly open public marketplace.  Its openness is the key to its efficiency and success.  Not all public spaces need to be regulated spaces.”

At present, H.R. 3942 has no cosponsors, but that only means you should call your representative and urge them to sign on to support Internet freedom.

Read the text of the bill here.  Read more of CFIF on net neutrality here.

October 22nd, 2009 at 12:45 pm
FCC Votes to Advance Government Takeover of the Internet

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines this morning to advance the process of imposing strict net neutrality regulations on the Internet.

According to a report in The Hill:

With Thursday’s vote, the five-member panel began the process to move forward with open-Internet regulations announced last month by the agency’s chairman, Juilus Genachowski. His proposal would formally codify the FCC’s current four principles intended to prevent Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to certain content and services and therefore deciding which applications consumers have access to. He also proposed two additional principles, one to ensure providers do not discriminate between applications and another to require Internet companies to disclose their network management practices to consumers.

“Genachowski had the full support of Democratic Commissioners Micheal Copps and Mignon Clyburn, as expected. Republican Commissioners Robert McDowell and Meredith Atwell Baker dissented to the idea that government regulation is needed to keep the Internet open, but supported the beginning of a fact-finding process to learn more about the technical and legal questions surrounding net neutrality.”

At an event put on earlier this week by the Safe Internet Alliance, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) cautioned against the imposition of net neutrality regulation, calling it the “fairness doctrine for the Internet.”