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NAB: We’ve Got the House Votes on Royalty Resolution

MusicFirst decries “stale, tired tactic”

The NAB says it now enjoys a majority in the House of Representatives in favor of the current version of the “Local Radio Freedom Act,” a resolution against performance fees or royalties on U.S. radio stations.

The broadcast lobbying association says it has 218 co-sponsors in the House as well as 23 in the Senate. It lists recent additions including Reps. Andre Carson, Dan Donovan, Barry Loudermilk, Martha Roby,Terri Sewell and Mark Walker, as well as Sens. Dean Heller and Roger Wicker. NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith cited the “mutually beneficial relationship” between local radio stations and the record industry and said it has “spurred enormous music creation by new and established artists.”

The organization musicFirst, which advocates for payments to musicians, issued its own press release.

Executive Director Ted Kalo stated: “At its core, the so called ‘Local Radio Freedom Act’ is a lie. It purports to decry fees on ‘local’ radio, yet the Fair Play Fair Pay Act answers this concern by limiting payments for small broadcasters to just $500 a year, protection that will cover 75% of music stations in the U.S. And while NAB and its allies continue to dodge the real issues and prematurely spike the football on their non-binding sense of the Congress, we will continue working with artists including REM, Common, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Martha Reeves,and Rosanne Cash on real-world reforms that will make the music economy stronger and more fair.”

He derided “NAB’s nearly decade old resolution” as “a stale, tired tactic.”

Reps. Michael Conaway and Gene Green are the principal sponsors in the House; Sens. John Barrasso and Heidi Heitkamp champion it in the Senate.