Commerce Dept. Sides With Labels in Radio Performance Royalty Row
June 11, 2008 at 1:49 PM (PT)
The BUSH Administration Commerce Department has come down on the side of the labels in endorsing Rep. HOWARD BERMAN's bill that imposes a performance royalty on terrestrial radio. The letter reaffirms a perspective the Commerce Dept has held since at least 1978, in that Section 106 of the Copyright Act unfairly exempts terrestrial radio from royalties.
The new letter, from Commerce Dept. spokesperson LILY FU CLAFEE, lauds BERMAN's bill (HR4789), which "corrects this longstanding asymmetry on the Copyright Act" by making clear that "the performance right is applicable to both digital and analog transmissions ... [and] bring terrestrial broadcasts within the licensing scheme set forth therein for Internet, satellite and cable transmissions.
"As amended, the Copyright Act would treat the owners of copyrights in all performable works alike thereby bringing an end to the historic disparate treatment of owners of copyrights in sound recordings."
Read the entire letter here.