— 50 State Broadcaster Associations also express opposition —
WASHINGTON, DC — NAB President and CEO David Rehr urged lawmakers to oppose legislation introduced today that would force America’s hometown radio stations to pay a new “performance fee” to the recording industry for music aired free on the radio. The legislation, introduced in the House, is supported by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A measure opposing today’s Congressional action is expected to be introduced shortly.
“Local radio broadcasters consider this fee a ‘performance tax’ that will not only harm your local radio stations, but will threaten new artists trying to break into the business as well as your constituents who rely on local radio,” wrote Rehr. “Although the proponents of H.R. 848 claim this bill is about compensating artists, in actuality at least half of this fee will go directly into the pockets of the big record labels, funneling billions of dollars to companies based overseas.”
“Although the big record labels have seen their revenues decline over the last decade, local radio broadcasters are not the reason the recording industry is losing money, and it should not be the industry to fix it,” wrote Rehr.
To read a version of Rehr’s letter to House lawmakers, click here.
State broadcast associations representing all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, also issued a resolution today expressing opposition to a performance tax.
On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:
“I love a strong radio hit. All of us. That’s what our job is, to have a radio hit. Without radio, we couldn’t do what we do, but the job is to have a radio hit that sounds unique, and like you.”
— Jewel, Grammy-nominated recording artist, ‘Nashville Star,’ July 2008
“Alright, let’s talk about the nuts and bolts. If you win ‘Nashville Star’, you have to get on 200 major market radio stations. You have to.”
— John Rich, Big and Rich, ‘Nashville Star,’ July 2008
— Alicia Keys, recording artist and Grammy winner, 2008 Grammy Awards, February 2008
“[R]adio remains the best way to get new music into the listeners’ lives.”
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