Members of Congress continue to add their names in support of the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res.16/S.Con.Res.6), 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.” A bipartisan bill, the Local Radio Freedom Act is sponsored by Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) in the House and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in the Senate. The bill has attracted the support of 124 Representatives and 10 Senators thus far.
NRB opposes a performance tax as a new and unwarranted burden on many Christian radio broadcasters. Musicians receive free airplay by radio, boosting recognition and sales of their work. However, advertisers, sponsors, and program syndicators pay for placement on radio because of the substantive benefits they receive from over-the-air (OTA) carriage. The demonstrable value of radio airtime is ignored by many advocates of a new OTA performance tax.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: April 26, 2013