No Performance Rights Passage This Year

NAB says talks continue & PRA looms in next Congress
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Congress adjourned before the holidays without acting on the Performance Rights Act.

“We are pleased the PRA bill passed out of respective Judiciary Committees in Congress did not become law,” said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton.

NAB and musicFirst are continuing their negotiations in an effort to work out a compromise and “NAB expects to be proactively engaged on this issue in the new session of Congress,” he said.

Terrestrial broadcasters have been exempt from that royalty for decades, though they pay hundreds of millions to the holders of music copyrights. NAB and others have fought congressional legislation of such a right and allowing the Copyright Royalty Board to set rates.

MusicFirst, which represents record companies and performers, says all other forms of radio, like Internet and satellite-delivered radio, pay such royalties, and that terrestrial radio should too. MusicFirst Spokesman Tom Matzzie said: “We’re not going to go away. We’re going to keep pushing” on the issue. “We’re looking forward to getting to a place where music and radio can be working together to grow our businesses.”


Performance Rights Heats Up

The performance rights issue, or as NAB calls it, a “performance tax,” is getting more attention in advance of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue scheduled for next week.