Battle royal over royalties heating up


RIAA is getting set once again to cajole Congress into hitting up broadcasters to make up for its own failure to keep its business model up-to-date. Although many in Congress have pledged to support free radio and maintain the broadcast performance royalties exemption, key members of Congress, including House Judiciary Chair John Conyers (D-MI). The NAB is girding up for yet another round in this battle on Capitol Hill.

NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, "It is implausible to suggest that a government-imposed bailout of foreign record labels estimated to cost up to $7B would not cause serious economic harm to US radio stations. The media business faces the worst advertising economy in decades, and thousands of loyal, hard-working people have lost their job in radio the last few months. If Congress wants to ensure more job losses and put at risk the countless charitable and public service efforts of local radio stations, passing the performance tax would be the best recipe."

RBR/TVBR observation: For decades, the relationship between broadcasters and recording companies has been a fair trade of value for value. The simple fact is that every spin on broadcast station is a free advertisement that translates into sales – whether the recording is purchased on a CD or as a download. Congress should not cave in and support the recording industry’s self-defeating cash grab.