Utah Lawmakers Weigh In On Performance Fee
March 18, 2009 at 6:53 AM (PT)
ORRIN HATCH, UTAH's songwriting Senator, is at odds with broadcasters and just about every member of the state Legislature over a bill that would require traditional radio stations to pay performers for the rights to air their music, reports THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. HATCH is the primary Republican sponsor of what he calls the Performance Rights Act. The measure, also sponsored by Sen. PATRICK LEAHY, (D-VT), would eliminate the royalty exemption now held by over-the-air stations.
But UTAH broadcasters, backed by 96 of the 104 state lawmakers, say this legislation is unfair and would force radio stations to cut jobs or move to Talk formats.
"To require local radio stations to pay a fee while at the same time promoting the music industry's product is an unreasonable requirement," the lawmakers said in a letter, pushed by the UTAH BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION and state Rep. JULIE FISHER.
Read the UTAH lawmakers letter here.