Washington - Mar 1, 2011 - Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson introduced a resolution declaring that Congress should not impose any new performance fees or taxes on local radio stations. The Senate action is cosponsored by John Barrasso of Wyoming. The same effort was introduced in the House by Reps. Mike Conaway and Gene Green of Texas. The resolution picks up from previous efforts to bar any efforts to require terrestrial radio to pay performance royalties to record labels and artists.
From the resolution: "The Local Radio Freedom Act resolution would help protect the symbiotic relationship that has existed between the broadcasting and sound recording industries for more than 80 years. In this relationship, the record labels allow the performance of music by local radio stations for free, and the radio stations provide the studios' artists with free exposure and promotion. The artists are introduced to the public, build their fan bases, and get free over-the air advertising for their records, concerts and merchandise."
It is expected that Musicfirst and the record labels will again pursue their efforts to remove the terrestrial radio exclusion on paying the performance fee.