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Broadcasters Oppose Songwriter Bill

Wharton: New costs could ‘jeopardize future of our free locally-focused service’

“Respectful opposition” is the stance of the National Association of Broadcasters to a new bill on Capitol Hill dealing with songwriter compensation.

The NAB says the Songwriter Equity Act would increase rates that songwriters are paid when their music is played on radio stations and other platforms.

Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued a statement: “NAB respectfully opposes this legislation, which could impose new costs on broadcasters that jeopardize the future of our free locally-focused service. While this legislation raises important issues about the changes confronting the songwriter community, NAB objects to changes in law that would deal with the financial imbalance between songwriters and artists by subjecting free broadcast radio stations to new fees.”

The National Music Publishers’ Association is backing the bill, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.

Separate efforts in recent years to change the compensation system for performance artists have been opposed by NAB.

Related: Music Publishers Seek Help From Capitol Hill