While MusicFirst Rallies For Performance Fee, NAB Gets Reinforcements
February 24, 2009 at 5:07 AM (PT)
The ongoing battle between those pro and anti-performance fee will be ratcheting up a peg or two. DAVID HINCKLEY in THE DAILY NEWS reports that THE MUSICFIRST COALITION, which wants commercial radio to pay royalties to artists when it plays their recordings, will kick off its 2009 campaign TODAY (2/24) with a 2p rally at the RAYBURN BUILDING in WASHINGTON. Several legislators and a number of yet-unnamed artists are expected to attend.
Meanwhile, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS, which YESTERDAY (2/23) announced it had signatures from 119 House members opposing what the NAB calls a "performance tax." named 15 more lawmakers who'll oppose the introduction of "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio stations.
Taking dead aim at the MUSICFIRST event, NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON said, "NAB welcomes an honest debate over whether radio stations or the record labels have historically been a 'better friend' to musicians. Since the days of COUNT BASIE, there have been two constants in music: free radio airplay has propelled the financial success of countless performers, and those same artists have been systematically abused by the labels. For RIAA to now use artists as a shield in their quest for a performance tax is utterly cynical and hypocritical."
As evidence of that, WHARTON noted that the estates of COUNT BASIE and BENNY GOODMAN, as well as numerous other artists, have filed lawsuits against their record labels in recent years, including the BEATLES, TRAVIS TRITT, JAMES BLUNT and the ALLMAN BROTHERS.