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Anti-Performance Rights Resolution Reintroduced

‘The Local Radio Freedom Act’ is back for 112th Congress

“The Local Radio Freedom Act” was reintroduced in the House and Senate this week.

Reps. Mike Conway and Gene Green of Texas introduced the House resolution; the Senate sponsors are John Barrasso of Wyoming and Ben Nelson of Nebraska. The non-binding resolution counters any efforts to require terrestrial radio to pay performance royalties to record labels and artists.

The text from both reads: “[F]or more than 80 years, Congress has rejected repeated calls by the recording industry to impose a performance fee on local radio stations for simply playing music on the radio, as such fee would upset the mutually beneficial relationship between local radio and the recording industry.”

It continues: “[C]ommittees in the Senate and House of Representatives have previously reported that ‘the sale of many sound recordings and the careers of many performers have benefitted considerably from airplay and other promotional activities provided by both noncommercial and advertiser-supported, free over-the-air broadcasting.’”

Legislation to require terrestrial radio to pay performance royalties has not yet been re-introduced in the new Congress, but it could be. MusicFirst, backed by record labels and artists, sought the royalty; it had said at the end of the last session the issue would remain a priority in this Congress. NAB has said the same.

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