Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ed Whitfield's Response

Well I had been waiting for Ed Whitfield's response to a previous enquiry and was starting to get a little miffed that he hadn't responded. It turns out my wife had just hid that snail mail in a stack to be sorted later. Here is his response, with the names changed to protect the guilty:
Dear Mr. Swamproot,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the decision by the Copyright Royalty Board(CRB) to increase royalty payments for the streaming of music offered on the Internet.

I understand your strong opposition to this decision and your concerns about the effect that it will have on Internet music sites. Several options are being pursued to address the actions of the CRB. Public radio stations have asked the CRB to rehear its decision and they intend to appeal the Board's action to the United States Court of Appeals. Also, legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress in response to the CRB's decision. Specifically, the Internet Radio Equality Act would reverse the recent CRB ruling and change the royalty rate-setting standard that applies to commercial Internet radio so that it is the same standard that applies to satellite radio. For public radio, the bill would set a royalty standard designed for noncommercial entities.

As a Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over this issue, I look forward to participating in any hearings we may have on the matter. Furthermore, I will continue to follow this issue and will crefully consider the points you made should any relevant legislation be considered in my Committee or voted on by the full House of Representatives.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I look forward to hearing from you on this or any other issue of importance to you.

Ed Whitfield
Member of Congress
It was typed by one 'mb'. They probably wrote it as well, and I am sure the Congress Member is a busy man. I just wanted to make my opinion known on the matter to the fellow who is supposed to represent me. Having taken the trouble of writing the guy, you might say that I might be a little ticked that his staff person didn't express an opinion one way or the other. I actually was as concerned about his position as well as mine. I guess it's not to be certain one way or another.

For example, I may be a registered Democrat (if only because the Repugs piss me off right now), but I sure do respect Melvin Henley. He isn't afraid to tell you exactly what he thinks, the way he's gonna vote, and how much he appreciates your input on the matter at hand. I can disagree and still vote for a man like that.

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