178 members of the House of Representative are now on board supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act, which would prevent other members of the House from enacting legislation that would create a performance royalty ostensibly aimed at musicians, but much of which would land in corporate label coffers. Meanwhile, NAB took issue with an RIAA statement.
The NAB was most proud of signing on civil rights legend John Lewis (D-GA). Also signing up to support the legislation were Betsy Markey (D-CO), Larry Kissell (D-NC), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Pete Olson (R-TX). The bipartisan nature of the additions matches the bipartisan nature of the sponsors, Gene Green (D-TX0 and Mike Conaway (R-TX).
Meanwhile, the RIAA decided to pounce on some optimism expressed by NAB President/CEO David Rehr in Las Vegas. NAB’s Dennis Wharton responded, “RIAA still doesn’t get it. America’s local radio stations are indeed facing the worst advertising recession since the Great Depression, a financial reality that would be exponentially worsened by a performance tax. But instead of suing grandmothers and college kids or looking to another industry for a brazen money-grab, we’re embracing technology, adapting our business model, and looking to the future.”
RBR/TVBR observation: We still want to see just how this is supposed to work. They like to make it sound like everybody on a record played over the air will get a cut. How much will the guy who shook a tambourine in some pop hit get? Whatever it is, and we think most likely it’ll be a nice round number like $0.00 – it’ll pale in comparison to what the record companies hoard away for themselves.