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Performance Rights Set for Senate Judiciary Markup

Keep an eye on S. 379

This version updates the date of the markup.

Maybe we’ll get a sense soon of whether the performance royalty issue has “legs” on Capitol Hill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee may vote on S. 379, the Performance Rights Act, soon. The committee had a markup scheduled for this week , though under committee rules, the markup — action that could send the measure to the full Senate — could be delayed a week; and subsequently came word that it has been moved to next Thursday, Oct. 15.

MusicFirst, a coalition of record labels, artists, and musicians, say the measure closes a loophole in copyright law that will bring terrestrial radio in line with fees paid by Internet and satellite radio.

NAB says the measure ignores the free publicity new artists and labels receive through airplay and the fees would ripple stations already struggling in the tough economy. At last count, NAB said the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution opposing the performance rights effort, is supported by 251 House members and 25 senators.