Noncommercial radio stations streaming online programming are required to limit the number of times they play material from a single artist during a three-hour period, a shackle that can prevent a public station from streaming an orchestral symphony in its entirety. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has introduced legislation to fix this problem.
Baldwin described the Public Radio Music Enhancement Act of 2010, H.R. 6307, saying, “My legislation offers a narrow fix that has broad implications for the music-loving public in my home state of Wisconsin and across the country. I look forward to working with NPR to further enhance its programming and better serve its listeners.”
The restrictions stem from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, and according to NPR, in addition to hampering the presentation of classical works, it prevents stations playing classical, jazz, folk and other musical genres from “promoting local and emerging artists, or properly educating their listeners about the lives and careers of American musical masters.”
NPR’s president and CEO Vivian Schiller commented, “We are enormously grateful for Congresswoman Baldwin’s leadership on this issue. Music is a critical element of public radio’s community service, connecting audiences with the performers, songwriters, musicians, lyricists and composers who enhance their lives. Congresswoman Baldwin’s common-sense legislation would allow public radio to improve that service and enhance audience enjoyment in the digital age.”