Washington - Oct 31, 2007 - The Local Radio Freedom Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), declares congressional opposition to new charges for radio stations that play recorded music. The resolution says essential services such as providing information during national emergencies and natural disasters would be threatened if local radio stations were required to pay a new performance fee. It also says local radio stations and other small businesses would "suffer severe economic hardship" if a performance fee were imposed.
"Radio provides free exposure and promotion for record labels' acts; broadcasters shouldn't have to pay labels for the privilege of supporting them. If the stations 'pay to play,' the cost will go up for everyone and free over-the-air radio could be hurt," Green said.
Rep. Conaway said local radio broadcasters provide "essential information" to their communities. "Communities rely on local radio stations to relay important weather information, national emergency information, and important news that will affect their community," he said. "The proposed performance taxes on local radio would devastate small local broadcasters in rural areas and ultimately hurt small businesses and consumers."
The resolution's text says local radio provides essential community services that would be threatened by a new performance fee, such as "public affairs programming, sports, and hundreds of millions of dollars of time for public service announcements and local fund raising efforts for worthy charitable causes."
The bipartisan resolution was introduced with 51 original cosponsors.