House votes to save webcasters, Senate votes today

The financial bail-out of Wall Street wasn't the only thing keeping Congress critters working through the weekend. Somehow, House members managed to get it together to withstand lobbying pressure from radio broadcasters and pass the Webcaster Settlement Act.

The financial bail-out of Wall Street wasn't the only thing keeping Congress critters working through the weekend. Somehow, House members managed to get it together to withstand lobbying pressure from radio broadcasters and pass the Webcaster Settlement Act.

Now, Pandora founder Tim Westergren says, the battle moves to the Senate which takes up the measure Monday.

What made the difference? Westergren says it was thousands of users calling their congresspeople to raise the flag for webcasting. News.com's Greg Sandoval reports, though, that lobbying from NPR and Rep. Howard Berman's negotiations with the broadcasters are what really closed the deal.

Under the terms of the legislation, SoundExchange, the body that collects royalties and is part of the Recording Industry Association of America, has until Dec. 15 to negotiate a new rate. The NAB apparently was worried that the deadline didn't give the organization enough time to strike its own royalty agreement.

"Berman said 'Fine, we'll extend the date until Feb. 15, which gives you two more months to talk,'" said one music-industry source with knowledge of the discussions. "There isn't anything in the act that prevents traditional broadcasters from reaching their own royalty rate."

With the National Association of Broadcasters appeased, things look good for passage in the Senate today.