Anti-Performance Royalty Bill Introduced In Senate
March 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM (PT)
The Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes the introduction of "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio stations, was introduced in the SENATE TODAY by Sens. BLANCHE LINCOLN (AR) and JOHN BARRASSO (WY). Sen. LISA MURKOWSKI (AK) has also voiced her support for the Local Radio Freedom Act by signing on as an original co-sponsor.
"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings," reads S. Con. Res. 14.
The Local Radio Freedom Act, which complements a similar measure in the HOUSE, counters legislation supported by the RIAA, which would levy a new fee on local radio stations for music aired free to listeners. At least 50% of the proceeds from the new fee would go directly into the coffers of the record labels.
"Broadcasters appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Sens. LINCOLN and BaRRASSO on an issue of critical importance to the survival of free, local radio," said NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON. "A performance tax would threaten thousands of American jobs, reduce music diversity, and hamstring a new artist's ability to reach radio's 234 million weekly listeners. RIAA's attempted money-grab would decimate a radio business reeling from the worst advertising recession in decades."
This week, approximately 500 local radio and TV broadcasters will gather in WASHINGTON, D.C. for the NAB State Leadership Conference. Many of them will meet with elected officials and discuss issues impacting local radio and TV stations; chief among them will be protecting local radio stations from the RIAA-sought fee.