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NAB caving on PRA?

RADIO CIRCLING THE WAGONS? The NAB, concerned that Congress could pass the Performance Rights Act, allowing the government's Copyright Royalty Board to set royalty rates for performers, may now be willing open to a preemptive deal that would set rates low enough so radio could live with them, as well as removing the CRB from the picture. So says the N.Y. Daily News’ David Hinckley. NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said the NAB has had "a full and productive exchange of ideas" with reps from MusicFirst, the org that’s been lobbying for the legislation, in an abrupt about-face from previous statements, in which he warned that the PRA “would be devastating to the future of free and local radio." Any deal like this also would likely have wide implications for online streaming, Hinckley accurately points out. It’ll be interesting to see whether the two struggling industries are able to compromise on an issue with far-reaching monetary implications. (8/11a)

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