Ho, hum – the NAB announced that another nine lawmakers have signed on to oppose RIAA’s performance royalties efforts. But wait! There’s a big fish in this catch – House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY).
A total of 158 House members have now signed on as supporters of the bipartisan resolution to oppose what NAB refers to as a Performance Tax. The Local Radio Freedom Act, introduced by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) reads: “Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings.”
Along with Chairman Rangel, the new endorsements came from Reps. Steve Buyer (R-IN), Danny Davis (D-IL), Deborah Halvorson (D-IL), Tim Holden (D-PA), James Oberstar (D-MN), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Harold Rogers (R-KY) and Fred Upton (R-MI).
RBR/TVBR observation: We have to think the presentation on Capitol Hill last week by Tom Joyner and a group of minority radio owners had something to do with convincing Rangel to join the fight. Few people in Washington wield more power, so broadcasters can rejoice at having him join the cause.