Performance Royalty Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Cmte.
NAB Reaffirms Opposition
October 15, 2009 at 9:35 AM (PT)
Multiple media sources are reporting that The SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE has approved its own version of a performance royalty bill for terrestrial radio. Like the previously approved HOUSE bill H.R. 848, The Performance Rights Act (S. 379) will force music radio stations to pay a performance fee to artists, musicians and rights holders for airplay.
Predictably, the MUSICFIRST COALITION was elated with the outcome. "Today we are one step closer to righting a wrong that has existed since the early days of radio; one step closer to winning the fight for fundamental justice that has been waged by countless artists and musicians over the last 80 years," Exec. Dir. JENNIFER BENDALL stated. "We are grateful for the leadership of Chairman LEAHY, Sens. FEINSTEIN and HATCH and other members of the committee. We look forward to working with them and Chairman CONYERS, Reps. ISSA and BERMAN and other members who understand the importance of creating a fair performance right on radio for America’s artists and musicians.
"We are making unprecedented progress," she continued. "Two congressional committees have now approved a bill to create a fair performance right on radio. We ask broadcasters and the new leadership at the NAB to join with us. Together we can create a performance right on radio that is fair to artists, musicians and rights holders, fair to other radio platforms that pay a performance royalty, and fair to AM and FM music radio."
NAB: musicFIRST Won An Easy Battle, Certainly Not The War
Just as predictably, the NAB isn't likely to join the content community in settling on any semblance of a royalty. It has rounded up 251 members of the House -- a clear majority -- as well as 26 Senators who signed off on a non-binding resolution opposing any such performance royalty fee on radio.
Furthermore, the NAB claims it expected the SENATE Bill to pass out of the Judiciary Committee, where it has the most support. That that doesn't guarantee that the bill will pass the full SENATE. The NAB brings up a comment by Sen. ARLEN SPECTOR, who said, "It ill be some time before this comes to the floor in any form."