The Washington Post

The Circuit: Pandora talks radio royalties, LinkedIn hit with breach, Nasdaq plans to compensate firms over Facebook

Pandora talks radio royalties:Pandora’s founder was on the Hill today arguing to the House subpanel on communications and technology that the whole radio royalties system is outdated.

In his testimony, Pandora’s Tim Westergren said that Congress must establish fair royalties for all music providers — including those on the Internet — rather than passing legislation that deals with each new technology as it comes along.

Westergren said more traditional broadcasters don’t have to pay anything for royalty fees. Services like Pandora, which often showcase smaller or independent artists, do pay the fees and, Westergren said, shoulder a “disproportionate royalty burden” compared to other formats. Broadcasters say that they are willing to look into reform as they look at paying artists for their work and balancing radio stations’ bottom lines.

LinkedIn breach: LinkedIn confirmed that it was looking into an attack that stole 6.5 million passwords from the networking site’s users. The passwords were hashed, or obscured, but LinkedIn has encouraged its users to change their passwords.

Members whose accounts were associated with the compromised data will receive an e-mail that their password is no longer valid.

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) said in a statement that Congress needs to take action on legislation dealing with data protection. “This latest incident once again brings into sharp focus the need to pass data protection legislation,” she said. “Nothing threatens e-commerce more than a lack of consumer confidence.”

Nasdaq payout: Nasdaq has proposed a $40 million payout to compensate member firms that lost money because of technical problems that affected Facebook’s initial public offering.

The plan would see $13.7 million in cash payments to the firms affected by those technical glitches. The balance of the money, Nasdaq said in a release, would be “credited to members to reduce trading costs” and would be largely paid out within the next six months.

The proposed payout is considerably larger than the $3 million ceiling for accommodation funds that the Securities and Exchange Commission allows, so it is subject to SEC review. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has agreed to evaluate the claims submitted by firms that apply for the program, the release said.

FCC political ads: House Republicans are trying to block the Federal Communications Commission’s rule that would require television stations to post who bought political ads from their stations on the Internet, The Hill reported.

In the House subcommittee on financial services, Republicans defeated a Democratic push to stop an amendment that would reverse the rule.

“Television station fiscal matters are private and should be kept private,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), according to the report.

IPv6 Launch day: Wednesday marks the launch of a new era for the Internet — the switch to IPv6. In really simple terms, it means that the Internet is expanding its address directory. Right now, there are 4.3 billion IP (internet protocol) addresses on the Internet, meaning that there’s a unique address for 4.3 billion devices to connect to the Web. With the launch of IPv6, which assigns addresses in a new way, that number can grow — to 340 trillion trillion trillion.

Most people shouldn’t see a difference in their daily Web use, though people who can only connect to the old protocol may have trouble seeing sites using only IPv6. But all the launch partners are running both protocols in parallel.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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