Pandora starts PAC for political giving

Online radio service Pandora has started a political action committee to send money to political campaigns and candidates.

The company started its PAC late last month, it revealed in new Federal Election Commission filings, days after a court ruling seemed to spell trouble for the service.

{mosads}The move comes as part of a new focus on Washington. The company has come under pressure to pay more music royalties to songwriters and musicians.

Legislation like the RESPECT Act from Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and George Holding (R-N.C.), for instance, would require online radio services, including Pandora, to pay royalty fees for songs recorded before 1972, an obligation they do not currently have under federal law.

Other lawmakers has looked to change the ways that royalties are calculated to give songwriters and publishers more money.

Last month, a district court in California ruled in favor of musicians arguing for royalties from Sirius XM, the satellite radio giant that also does not have a federal requirement to pay for songs recorded before 1972. The ruling could lay the groundwork for a national system requiring satellite and Web radio companies to pay royalties, regardless of when the songs they play were written.

Pandora’s PAC was formed just three days after that California ruling. 

The company recently hired a former Motorola Mobility lobbyist, Katie Peters, to lead its federal affairs. The hire came just a few months after the company brought on former Federal Communications Commission official Dave Grimaldi.

Pandora did not immediately respond to a question about its intentions for the PAC.

Tags Internet radio Pandora Radio

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