College And H.S. Radio Weighs In On Performance Fees
June 2, 2009 at 5:19 AM (PT)
Colleges and high schools from across the country joined together to oppose federal legislation that would impose a fee on radio stations that play music, including on tuition- and fee-supported, student operated, noncommercial radio. In a letter to members of Congress delivered YESTERDAY (6/1) under the banner of the FREE RADIO ALLIANCE and the COLLEGE BROADCASTERS INC. (CBI), faculty, staff, and students from more than 80 stations including DUKE UNIVERSITY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, SUNY-BROCKPORT, RICE UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY and VIRGINIA TECH argued that "other serious threats" would result from the passage of the performance fee.
The letter states, "One oft-cited straw man argument made by recording industry lobbyists is that... educational institutions would fall within a special accommodation. Though, in the context of record industry profits, company executives might believe their proposal to be reasonably low, in the real world those proposed fees represent large portions of annual budgets for student-operated radio stations."
COLLEGE BROADCASTERS INC. Pres. WARREN KOZIRESKI says that the performance tax legislation has hidden costs that would jeopardize many stations' ability to continue to exist. "The record labels are completely out of touch as to how college radio stations operate. The extensive recordkeeping requirements that will be required by the COPYRIGHT ROYALTY BOARD alone will add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to the true cost of a performance fee."