Music to our Ears: Internet Radio Fairness Coalition Launched Today
Today, the Internet Radio Fairness Coalition was launched to support the Internet Radio Fairness Act. CCIA President and CEO has an op-ed in the Hill today, explaining:
Innovation does not happen in a vacuum, especially in the innovative technology industries. So when one form of technology is held back, especially by burdensome government regulations, all technology innovation runs the risk of becoming stifled.
In September, Matt had a great post on “Why Internet Radio Has A Bad Deal” explaining a lot of these issues and the historical context. As Matt pointed out, and Techdirt later picked up, the Copyright Act literally says: “to minimize any disruptive impact on the structure of the industries involved and on generally prevailing industries practices.” (17 U.S.C. 801(b)(2)(D)). As Matt noted:
That’s right: employees of the U.S. Government who dictate price inputs for entire industries are statutorily charged to resist change.
Go check out Matt’s must-read post for an explanation of these issues.
Some, if not all of society’s most useful innovations are the byproduct of competition. In fact, although it may sound counterintuitive, innovation often flourishes when an incumbent is threatened by a new entrant because the threat of losing users to the competition drives product improvement. The Internet and the products and companies it has enabled are no exception; companies need to constantly stay on their toes, as the next startup is ready to knock them down with a better product.
The Internet enables the free exchange of ideas and content that, in turn, promote creativity, commerce, and innovation. However, a balanced approach to copyright, trademarks, and patents is critical to this creative and entrepreneurial spirit the Internet has fostered. Consequently, it is our belief that the intellectual property system should encourage innovation, while not impeding new business models and open-source developments.