More Than 100 Members of Congress Oppose Performance Royalty on Local Radio

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More Than 100 Members of Congress Oppose Performance Royalty on Local Radio

Mar 20, 2013 10:01 AM

Washington, DC - Mar 19, 2013 - Two more U.S. Senators and a bipartisan group of more than two dozen additional House Members now oppose "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act is now currently co-sponsored by 105 Members of the House and four Senators.

Since the introduction of the Local Radio Freedom Act, 32 Democratic and Republican House Members have joined the bipartisan coalition of the resolution's 73 original cosponsors in opposing any new fees on local radio stations for music airplay. Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) are the latest lawmakers to sign onto its companion resolution in the Senate.

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 16) in the House of Representatives on Feb 15, 2013, along with 71 additional co-sponsors. An identical resolution (S. Con. Res. 6) was introduced in the Senate on March 6, 2013, by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

According to the Local Radio Freedom Act, "Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings."

Since the introduction of the resolutions, Clear Channel and independent record label Entertainment One have entered into an agreement to permit radio stations to pay sound-recording performance royalties in exchange for lowered digital performance fees. The deal is similar to other private-market deals struck in recent months between broadcasters and record labels without the need for government intervention. Examples of such agreements are those between Clear Channel and RPM Entertainment, Entercom and Glassnote Entertainment Group, and Beasley Broadcasting and Big Machine Label Group.

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