Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is the new chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and the member taking Goodlatte’s old chair, that of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will be Howard Coble (R-NC). This is where performance royalties will be debated during the course of the year.
Goodlatte held a hearing on Jason Chaffetz’s Internet Royalty Fairness Act in the waning moments of the 112th Congress. Although the issue addressed in that bill involved leveling the playing field between internet and satellite/cable audio platforms, AM-FM radio was inevitably drawn into the debate.
Goodlatte promised during the late 2012 hearing that the topic of performance royalties would be on the schedule this year more than once.
RBR-TVBR observation: The one thing we remember about Coble is this: When the panel was looking at the Performance Rights Act a few years ago, Coble noted in his opening remarks that he was somewhat torn by the issue. He said he had good friends on both sides of the argument. For us, that means there is at the very least a strong chance that he will listen to reason.