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Bustos: Royalty Could Be ‘Final Nail in the Coffin’

But National Hispanic Conference of State Legislators backs royalty

Spanish-language broadcasters told congressional staffers this week a performance royalty charged formusic aired on radio stations could devastate small broadcasters financially.

In video highlights supplied by the Free Radio Alliance, which sponsored the event, Bustos Media CEO Amador Bustos said, “The performance tax would be the added and final nail in the coffin for these small broadcasters like ours, and I think that it is just absolutely ludicrous that the record companies are trying to sort of bite the hand that feeds them.”

Univision-syndicated personality Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo referred to his interview with President Obama back in February, saying Obama agreed about the important role played by Spanish-language radio. Sotelo cited the drives he’s led for citizenship and voter registration and said, “Without those stations, how are [listeners] going to receive the right information? Those are the things that are really important to think about.”

On the other side of the issue, though, the National Hispanic Conference of State Legislators announced it is backing a performance royalty, approving a resolution that calls upon Congress to enact the Performance Rights Act, introduced in the Congress in February.

Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Ind., who sponsored the resolution, called a performance right a matter of fairness. “It is certainly important to understand the role that radio plays in this debate. Latin music is an integral part of the lives of many Hispanics in the U.S., and having a full performance right will ensure that the musicians and artists will be fairly compensated for their creation.”