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For a couple of years commercial Webcasters have fought mightily against royalties they were forced to pay music performers and record labels. One argument some Webcasters made was that Internet radio should not be forced to pay fees that terrestrial radio is not required to pay. Radio stations are required to pay fees to songwriters but not performers and record labels.

Now Pandora, perhaps the best-known Webcaster, is urging Congress to level the playing field and make radio kick in money for performers and labels, too. Pandora itself never argued it should be exempt from performance royalties, maintaining only that the fees were too high.

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Microsoft this week announced a program aimed at boosting the technology skills of up to two million Americans. As part of its Elevate America initiative Microsoft will offer some its training programs and certification tests for free.

The classes range from the basic, like how to use the Internet and send email, to advanced classes for using Microsoft applications.

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