House Judiciary Committee leaders John Conyers (D-MI) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) have heard from American Women in Radio and Television on the topic of the broadcast performance royalty that has been batted around their committee lately, as well as Jim Moran (D-VA), who happens to represent the district where AWRT is headquartered. They informed the congressmen that they see the royalty as a tax, and note that it will harm broadcasters, up-and-coming musicians and listeners.
AWRT president Maria Efantis Brennan wrote, “AWRT members consider this to be an attempt to ‘tax’ the local radio industry.” She continued, “To be clear, the large internationally-owned record labels are the force pushing Congress to impose this new fee on the local radio stations. The system in place today fairly compensates everyone. 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.”
RBR/TVBR observation: We remain stunned that so many musicians are getting behind RIAA on this when they all know damn well that the labels have been their natural enemy since the get-go. The fact that historically there have been few paths around the labels should make it all the more galling – that’s why the labels can get away with sticking it to the artists. The fact that Congress is looking at this royalty proposal without ONCE looking at the relationship between labels and musicians is appalling. Congress, do your homework before sticking broadcasters with this misbegotten piece of tripe.