Fighters named for PRA rumble


Stepping up to bite the hand that feeds her is Grammy winner Sheila E, who’ll represent MusicFirst in pitching the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to make radio stations pay for the privilege of helping labels sell records. Countering for the broadcasters will be Steve Newberry and Jim Winston.

“The Performance Rights Act and Parity among Music Delivery Platforms” will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 2:30 Eastern on Tuesday, 8/4/09 under the gavel of Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who will be pinch-hitting for committee chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Representatives from a steamer, an independent record label and the academic community will also appear as witnesses.

Here is the full witness list:

* Sheila E, Grammy Award-winning Artist, On behalf of the MusicFIRST Coalition, Sherman Oaks CA

* Bob Kimball, Executive Vice President, Real Networks, Seattle WA

* Marian Leighton-Levy, Owner, Rounder Records, Burlington MA

* Steve Newberry, Joint Board Chairman, National Association of Broadcasters, President and CEO, Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation, Glasgow KY

* Ralph Oman, Adjunct Professor, George Washington University Law School, Washington DC

* James L. Winston, Executive Director and General Counsel, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters Inc., Washington DC

RBR/TVBR observation: The effort to find members of the House to state opposition to the performance royalty was successful in establishing a plurality of resistance and then some. It remains to be seen if similar results can be achieved in the Senate, but if the House refuses to pass the bill, what happens in the Senate doesn’t matter so much.