Local Radio Freedom Act Gets 200+ House Co-sponsors


The efforts of California Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Marsha Blackburn to bring new performance rights fees to radio stations appear to be as successful as those in the Senate designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

With little movement seen in recent weeks and no updates from the Recording Academy, the NAB-supported Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) now has 206 co-sponsors in the House and 23 in the Senate.

The latest co-sponsors of the resolution, introduced in both the Senate and the House, include a bipartisan coalition of seven House Members.

Adding their support for the act in the House are Reps. Cheri Bustos (Ill.), Lou Correa (Calif.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Dwight Evans (Penn.), Steve Knight (Calif.), Seth Moulton (Mass.) and Roger Williams (Tex.).Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) are the principal cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 13) in the House of Representatives.

Sens. John Barrasso(R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced a companion resolution in the Senate (S. Con. Res. 6).

With the 115th Congress, two pieces of legislation supported by the recording industry and a coalition of songwriters and performing artists have seen little, if any support.

H.R. 1914, known as the “Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act of 2017 or the PROMOTE Act of 2017,” was introduced by Rep. Issa. This bill amends federal copyright law to provide copyright owners the exclusive right to prohibit performance of a sound recording publicly by a broadcast transmission of a terrestrial AM/FM radio station. It has one co-sponsor: Florida Congressman Ted Deutch.

Meanwhile, H.R. 1836, the “Fair Play Fair Pay Act,” amends federal copyright law to extend a sound recording copyright owner’s rights to include the exclusive right to perform or authorize the performance of the recording publicly by means of any audio transmission, thereby requiring terrestrial AM/FM broadcast radio stations that play copyrighted sound recordings to pay royalties for the non-digital audio transmissions of the recordings.

This bill has 21 co-sponsors, with Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer signing on as the latest House member on July 11.