Reps vow to fight Berman royalty bill


The "Performance Rights Act of 2007," introduced by Howard Berman (D-CA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will not go unchallenged. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) are planning to dig in and defeat it in favor of their own "Local Radio Freedom Act" that was introduced back in October. The duo claims 127 backers in the House.

Conaway said, "Time and time again the recording industry has attempted to place this costly and destructive fee on our local radio stations. Fortunately, Congress has repeatedly refused to implement this fee that would disrupt the mutually beneficial relationship between local radio stations and recording industries. Local radio provides an invaluable service in the community by relaying important weather information, national emergency information and important news that will affect the community. This ‘performance fee’ will place an unnecessary and devastating burden on the small local broadcasters and will inevitably hurt our communities."

"Local radio is the best promotional tool performance artists have," added Green. "During this year’s Country Music Awards, we heard numerous country artists thank country radio for getting their music out to the public. If listeners like what they hear on the radio, they will go buy that track on CD or pay to download it online. Congress should not upset this balance by imposing additional fees on free, over-the-air broadcaster radio stations that not only promote musical artists, but keep our communities connected with other costly programming such as local news, weather and emergency information."