The NAB is still a long way from amassing a majority in the Senate, but the count is now 20 for co-sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes imposition of any performance royalty payments to record labels and artists. The majority support for the House version has also grown again.
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is the latest member of the upper chamber to sign on in opposition to performance fees. He is the 20 senator to co-sponsor the bill.
In the House, the count is now 240. The latest to join as co-sponsors are Reps. Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Alan Mollohan (D-WV).
“Day by day, more lawmakers are saying ‘no’ to multi-national record conglomerates and saying ‘yes’ to preserving local radio,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. “As the August Congressional recess approaches, NAB encourages all broadcasters to continue educating Congress on RIAA-backed legislation that would financially cripple radio stations providing free programming to 235 million listeners every week,” he added.
RBR/TVBR observation: Little by little the list grows. The problem is that the RIAA will be back each session of Congress to try again to push through performance royalties. They thought 2009 was going to be the year they got the legislation through, with a Democratic Congress and President. What they hadn’t counted on was African-American radio station owners stepping to the forefront of the fight. Hopefully this year will be the high-water mark for RIAA, but don’t count on them giving up.