Following on the introduction of a House bill last month that would overturn the recent decision of the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to enact steep increases in webcasting royalty rates, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) have sponsored legislation that is intended as a companion to the House measure. Like the pending Internet Radio Equality Act (HR-2060) that now boasts upwards of 60 sponsors in the House, the Wyden-Brownback bill of the same title would roll back the CRB ruling that, as it currently stands, would apply retroactively to all music streamed online since January 2006. (Collections under the new rate regime are now scheduled to commence on July 15.) Both bills would bring webcasters under the same rate rules that apply to satellite radio operators, which pay 7.5% of their revenues to record companies and artists. The Senate bill would also establish special rate rules for non-commercial webcasters, which, through 2012, would be required to pay a rate that constitutes 105% of 2004 royalties paid, with a $5,000 yearly cap on payments. (By contrast, the House bill mandates a rate of 150% of 2004 royalties paid with no annual cap.) Proponents of the webcasting industry had warned that the CRB rate increases, which could amount to 40%-70% of revenues of large webcasters, and exceed the revenues of smaller players, could threaten the health of the entire Internet radio sector. Declaring that “I am alarmed by the recent [CRB] decision and the effect it will have on Internet radio—especially small webcasters with limited revenue streams,” Brownback expressed hope that, “with this bipartisan legislation, Internet radio will continue to flourish.”