50 state broadcast organizations a have fired off a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asking her to heed the majority of her body and keep the Performance Rights Act away from the floor. The associations did not ask for her support, but rather to allow time for study of the impact the bill might have on “small, religious and minority-owned stations.” The coalition made several other arguments as well.
“The public outcry and recent controversy surrounding the mark up of H.R. 848 reflects the foreseeable negative consequences of the bill and the devastating impact it will have on local radio and the communities served with the delivery of emergency information, national defense information, news, weather, traffic, public service information and quality entertainment, including the introduction of new local and regional artists to the public.”
The coalition noted that the new fee would be “hitting the radio broadcast industry in the midst of the terrible economic climate.” It added, “Mandating additional payments that will most directly benefit the record labels puts Congress in the position of siphoning off of hundreds of millions of dollars from local radio markets throughout America and sending most of those dollars overseas where the majority of record labels are headquartered.
RBR/TVBR observation: Why are labels even involved in this matter? We’re not considering the Distributors Rights Act, are we? It’s not the Copyright Holders Rights Act that’s pending, is it? It’s supposed to be about Performers, but take a close look and you’ll see the labels sending performers into the bright lights to testify while they bully their own way to the front of the cash handout line.
We have no idea if Pelosi has a position in this matter, but we do know that there is not much point in bringing a bill to the floor if it is guaranteed to lose. And besides studying the impact on niche broadcasters, we’d like to see some other studies as well.
We would also like to see studies that compare the financial success of recording with the free airplay they receive to determine that value of that airplay
And we would particularly like to see an in-depth look at the relationship between labels and artists. We’re always hearing from musicians who claim to have been ill-treated by labels. Shouldn’t labels be responsible for making sure musicians are adequately compensated for their work?