Online offensive against performance fees


It’s being called a “grassroots” website, but it’s well-rooted at the NAB, which is promoting as an “advocacy tool” to fight attempt by record labels to collect money from radio stations. The site includes resources that the NAB hopes stations will use locally to battle the labels.

“This is a multifaceted resource that our members can use to educate lawmakers and listeners on the dire consequences of a performance tax that threatens the very survival of free, local radio,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. “On behalf of our 235 million weekly radio listeners, NAB urges member stations to take advantage of this new Web site and stand united against a cynical money-grab by the foreign-owned record labels.”

The website uses an interactive display of gold and platinum records presented to radio stations in appreciation for their instrumental role in generating the kind of sales necessary to earn those kinds of records. The website notes, “Local radio stations provide billions of dollars in promotional value to artists and record labels. In appreciation, the record labels bestow upon radio stations ‘gold’ and ‘platinum’ albums to show their gratitude.”

RBR/TVBR observation: The performance royalty question is triangular. But all Congress seems to want to look at is this bizarre two-way conflict wherein the big record companies hide behind musicians and take to broadcasters. When is Congress going to look at the horrific relationship between musicians v. labels? Why is that segment of the triangle being completely ignored? Why, Mr. Conyers? Why, Mr. Leahy?