Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week introduced the latest iteration of performance tax legislation in the so-called Fair Play Fair Pay Act (H. R. 1733). Unveiling their bill at a music industry event in New York City, Congressman Nadler complained, “For decades, AM/FM radio has used whatever music it wants without paying a cent to the musicians, vocalists, and labels that created it.” He said his bill “fixes this broken and unjust system.”
Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, immediately responded, “Far from being fair, this performance tax legislation sadly continues to imply that value in radio airplay of music is a one-way street.” NRB has repeatedly noted that musicians receive free airplay by radio, boosting recognition and sales of their work, while others pay for airtime.
Dr. Johnson continued, “We need to continue to grow the reach of Christian music. Unfortunately, imposing a new performance tax on radio stations is counterproductive.”
NRB supports the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res.17/S.Con.Res.4), which opposes “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.” Already it has the bipartisan support of 158 Representatives and 13 Senators.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: April 17, 2015