The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) reports that four additional House members have signed on to the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes a performance fee for radio stations for the music they play. The Congressional opposition now stands at 219, representing a majority of the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. The newest lawmakers to co-sponsor the resolution are Reps. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
"Today's announcement sends a powerful message to foreign-owned record labels that Congress is not falling for their bogus campaign to blame local radio stations for their financial woes," commented NAB EVP Dennis Wharton. "NAB thanks those members of Congress who appreciate the fact that free radio airplay of music generates untold millions into the wallets of performers and record labels. We will continue to educate policymakers on the devastating impact this RIAA tax would have on America's hometown radio stations."
The Local Radio Freedom Act counters legislation supported by the RIAA, the Performance Rights Act, that would require broadcasters to pay a royalty to artists for music airplay. The Local Radio Freedom Act reads, "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 such public performance of sound recordings."
Meanwhile, the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property will markup H.R. 4789, the Performance Rights Act, on Thursday, June 26 at 9:30 a.m.