Four more members of the US House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes requiring AM and FM stations to pay any performance fee to record companies and artists. That brings the count to 219 co-sponsors, which NAB notes is a majority of the 435-member House. NAB and many broadcasters have been battling against efforts by RIAA to have Congress institute a performance fee on radio stations, arguing that the industry’s long exemption should be ended now that Internet streamers and satellite radio are paying performance fees.
"Today’s announcement sends a powerful message to foreign-owned record labels that Congress is not falling for their bogus campaign to blame local radio stations for their financial woes," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. "NAB thanks those members of Congress who appreciate the fact that free radio airplay of music generates untold millions into the wallets of performers and record labels. We will continue to educate policymakers on the devastating impact this RIAA tax would have on America’s hometown radio stations," he added.