The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is now reporting that a majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives support the Local Radio Freedom Act. This is a huge step in preventing legislation that would impose a performance fee on radio and TV stations.
The Local Radio Freedom Act states, “Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station broadcast over the air.”
Regarding its tremendous support in the U.S. House of Representatives, NAB noted:
“A bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives are now cosponsoring the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution opposing ‘any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge’ on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA), which signals members of Congress’s opposition to any potential legislation that imposes new performance royalties on broadcast radio stations for music airplay, now has 222 cosponsors in the House and 28 in the Senate.”
“America’s radio broadcasters are deeply thankful to the nearly 250 bipartisan House and Senate cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “Local radio stations’ irreplaceable service to their communities and our decades-long relationship with recording artists would be greatly damaged by a burdensome performance royalty. The support for broadcast radio from a majority of the House helps ensure that local stations can continue playing an indispensable role to our tens of millions of listeners without harming the historic partnership between broadcasters and the record industry.”
It is worth noting that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, who recently won his hotly contested primary in NYC, wants to impose a performance fee on local stations. He supports the “The American Music Fairness Act” (H.R. 4130), which would impose a performance fee on local stations. As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, we anticipate that he will try to move this through his committee. However, with the majority of U.S. Representatives supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act, it is unlikely that H.R. 4130 will pass the House. Nevertheless, we shall keep a close watch.
You can see NAB’s press release and a list of Members of Congress that support the Local Radio Freedom Act here.
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