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Rehr: Too Soon to Vote on PERFORM Act

Rehr: Too Soon to Vote on PERFORM Act

Broadcasters say it’s too soon for a congressional committee to vote on the PERFORM Act, a bill sponsors believe will achieve parity in music licensing fees for satellite digital radio, HD Radio and Internet radio.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Ranking Minority member Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., NAB’s David Rehr said Joint Board Chair Bruce Reese, who is president/CEO of Bonneville International, recently outlined to the committee in testimony several areas of streaming reform that broadcasters would like to see remedied so Internet radio can flourish:
“Those reforms include (1) the sound recording performance fee for Internet streaming, including the amount of the fee, and the fact that it is imposed on broadcasters for listeners who are within the broadcaster’s local service area; (2) the standard by which that fee is determined; (3) the conditions under which the necessary statutory licenses are available; (4) the law governing the making of copies used solely to facilitate lawful performances; and (5) the threat of difficult and unnecessary reporting and record keeping requirements.”
Also, pending litigation about what is permitted “fair use” for copyright purposes could affect how any digital audio copy protection system should be designed and implemented under copyright law, Rehr wrote.
The outcome of this litigation — referring to the RIAA’s suit over the XM Pioneer Inno — could affect the approach the Judiciary Committee might have with copyright reform legislation, giving lawmakers another reason to hold off on voting on the PERFORM Act, said Rehr.