200 House opponents of performance tax


Four more members of the House of Representative have joined the group supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act, the antidote to the Performance Rights Act that just cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Meanwhile, an observant internet pub notes that if airplay is so useless to labels, why have they for years engaged in illegal or payola practices to get it?

NAB’s Dennis Wharton commented, “Lawmakers are growing increasingly skeptical over record label claims that this legislation is about ‘helping artists.’ And given the historic abuse of artists by the labels, who can blame them? The sad truth is that a performance tax will cripple an artist’s number one promotional vehicle — free radio airplay, and it will transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from America’s hometown radio stations into the coffers of foreign-owned record labels.”

The new sign-ups are Steve Driehaus (D-OH), Wally Herger (R-CA), Jerry Lewis (R-CA), and Albio Sires (D-NJ)
Internet pub Techdirt poked several holes in the argument for a performance tax, noting that even if radio’s role in promoting musicians may have diminished somewhat, it certainly has not gone away by any stretch of the imagination, and the label’s long history of bribing its way onto the airwaves proves just the opposite. “The system of payola has shown, quite clearly, how much the recording industry values airtime, in that it’s willing to pay radio stations to play its music,” wrote Techdirt. “So, can anyone explain why it’s illegal for record labels to pay radio stations to play music, but it’s okay for Congress to force radio stations to pay the record labels for playing their music? It defies common sense.”

RBR/TVBR observation: The Local Radio Freedom Act is closing in on a majority – just 18 more are needed. To see where your rep stands, see NAB’s full list of supporters  here: