HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Performance Tax Raised Again

Performance Tax Raised Again

An over-the-air performance tax was raised repeatedly in a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing that was supposed to focus on webcasting royalties. 

The featured bill of the hearing was the Internet Radio Fairness Act (H.R.6480), sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). This legislation would put all non-interactive digital audio services on an even plane by applying across the board the royalty setting rules of Section 801(b) of the Copyright Act. This standard has led to better treatment of music streamers than the current so-called “willing buyer, willing seller” standard. Music streaming giant Pandora has joined forces with a number of other organizations, including NRB member Salem Communications, in supporting the bill.

However, from the very beginning of the hearing, a terrestrial radio performance royalty was highlighted over and over again. Subcommittee Ranking Member Mel Watt (D-NC) claimed Rep. Chaffetz’s bill "at best nibbles around the edges of the challenge" since it does not include over-the-air radio.  Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, also highlighted terrestrial radio and noted that the legislation before them "may well be the catalyst to formulating an AM/FM performance right.”

Responding to draft legislation by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that would institute a de facto performance tax on broadcasters by inflating the fees for their online streaming, Dr. Frank Wright, President & CEO of NRB, declared that such an approach would be a “crushing blow to many Christian radio stations” and is “fundamentally flawed as it rests on the faulty premise that all the value in radio airplay of music flows to broadcasters – an assumption refuted by reason and experience.” NRB will be carefully monitoring these royalties debates in the new Congress.

    • Find the full hearing here, along with press coverage.
    • See NRB’s response to Rep. Nadler’s draft performance tax bill.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations

Published: November 30, 2012

Latest News

Registration for Proclaim 16 Is Now Open! Register Early and Save!

Registration for the world’s largest annual gathering of Christian media and ministry professionals is now open, and if you register between now and November 1, you can receive an Early Bird discounted rate.

NRB President Calls on Members to Urge Congress to #DefundPP

With Congress set to return from recess on September 8, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson is encouraging the association’s members to contact their representatives about defunding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and to utilize their media platforms to urge others to do the same.

Salvation Army Eastern Territory Publishes New Magazine: 'SAConnects'

The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territorial Headquarters has released SAConnects, a new multimedia magazine that is replacing Good News!, Priority!, and Buenas Noticias!

Exhibit Space at Proclaim 16 Available Now! Reserve Yours Today!

Want to place your company or ministry in front of thousands of decision-makers in an ever-growing industry? Then consider exhibiting at Proclaim 16, the NRB International Christian Media Convention.

Dedication of The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden Set for Sept. 13

On September 13, The Coming King Foundation (TCKF) will dedicate its evangelistic Sculpture Prayer Garden in Kerrville, TX, which has been 14 years in the making.

Net Neutrality Court Battle Advances

The legal battle to halt the FCC’s most recent “Open Internet” order advanced in recent weeks with the filing of briefs before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

ERLC President Russell Moore Releases New Book: 'Onward'

Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, the latest book by ERLC President Dr. Russell Moore, was released on August 1.

Committee Expands Planned Parenthood Investigation

Leaders of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee recently announced an expansion of their investigation spurred by undercover videos that show key Planned Parenthood officials describing and negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

‘Mission: Mongolia’ Campaign Far Exceeds Goal to Fund Three New FM Stations

NRB member organizations Reach Beyond, Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), and Moody Global Ministries combined their efforts last month and raised $311,519 to fund equipment to start radio stations in three major cities in Mongolia that do not have access to Christian radio.

Guidelines International Ministries Plants Legacy Radio Station in the Balkans

Guidelines International Ministries has planted a Legacy Radio Station in the Balkans, partnering with Media 7 Albania.

More News