musicFIRST, NAB Make Their Case Before The Senate
August 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM (PT)
Testifying on behalf of THE MUSICFIRST COALITION TODAY (8/4), GRAMMY-nominated artist SHEILA E. and ROUNDER RECORDS Co-founder MARIAN LEIGHTON LEVY will tell members of the Senate Judiciary committee that it's past time to enact a fair performance right on radio.
"For all of the complex legal and legislative discussions that have taken place around this topic over the decades, the issue for musicians is really quite simple," said SHEILA E. "We believe that being paid for one's work is a basic American right. Whether your workplace is an office, a classroom, a factory or a recording studio, every American worker deserves to be compensated for his or her labor. Any business that profits from another's work should share some of that profit."
MARIAN LEIGHTON LEVY will describe to Senators the amount of money being lost overseas to the artists who sign on the ROUNDER label alone. "A striking example of this inequity can be found in the case of the recent ROBERT PLANT/ALISON KRAUSS record we released here in the U.S.," LEIGHTON LEVY said. "Just last year 'Please Read The Letter' won a GRAMMY for Album of the Year while receiving almost no commercial radio play. Since ROBERT PLANT is a U.K. native, he will be eligible to receive payment for his work on the recording when it is played around the world, but ALISON will not be paid because she is a U.S. native."
NAB Runs Ads In D.C. Trades
The NAB kept their position before lawmakers by placing an ad in CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY and NATIONAL JOURNAL's CONGRESS DAILY highlighting the relationship between free radio airplay and record sales.
"Radio is the #1 way listeners discover new music and new artists. This free promotion translates to billions of dollars each year in music, concert ticket and merchandise sales for labels and their performers," reads the advertisement.
The advertisement features a mosaic comprised of gold and platinum albums given to radio stations by record labels in appreciation for promoting music through free radio airplay.
NAB Gets It's Turn Before The Committee
NAB Joint Board Chair STEVE NEWBERRY, Pres./CEO of KENTUCKY-based COMMONWEALTH BROADCASTING CORPORATION testified before the U.S. Senate Committee On The Judiciary TODAY (8/4) regarding the impact of a Performance Fee on rasio.
Said NEWBERRY, "It will be no surprise to anyone in this room when I say that radio stations across the country oppose the performance fee legislation we are considering here today. I believe this legislation will upend local radio broadcasting as you have always known it." He continued, "I have been a part of the radio industry for over 30 years and I can honestly tell you that I have never seen the economic pain the radio industry is currently experiencing. And as challenging as radio's current economic landscape is, it will deteriorate even further if a performance fee were to be enacted. Already this year, publicly traded companies are reporting revenues down 24%, 20%, 24% and 25%."
"But beyond radio's economic landscape, we strongly believe that local radio stations provide compensation to record labels and artists today," stated NEWBERRY. "The artist is 'paid' with free advertising and free exposure every time a radio station plays their music. Local free radio is the unique developer, exposer, promoter, and great populizer of new and old music, to multiple new and old generations of listeners."