House panel set to take up performance royalties


Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) has his Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property set to air out H.R. 4789, the "Performance Rights Act" next Wednesday 6/11/08 at 2PM. There is no word yet on witnesses, but Berman is known to favor the imposition of what broadcasters consider a performance tax. Serving as Ranking Member of the subcommittee is Howard Coble (R-NC), who admitted at an earlier hearing that he had friends on both sides of this argument.

On the other side of the Capitol, one of Coble’s colleagues in the NC delegation came out in opposition to the bill. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) joined eight other who have previously expressed their disapproval, and the addition of eight House members – John Olver (D-MA), Luis Fortuno (R-PR), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Dave Weldon (R-FL), Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), and Baron Hill (D-IN) — brought the total expressing opposition there to 208.

In other Hill action, the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet takes up the DTV transition Tuesday 6/10/08.