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

Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton to Speak at NRB15

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is scheduled to speak on Monday, February 23, 2015, at a special event during the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Prime Minister Netanyahu to Address Congress in March

A day after President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to issue a veto threat against new sanctions on Iran, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that...

Subpoena Scuffle in House Committee

Last week the House Energy & Commerce Committee started off with a scuffle over the organizational rules of the panel.

Proposed to Defeat Islamist ‘Global Jihad’

On Friday January 16th, the Center for Security Policy, an NRB associate member, held a panel event on Islamist extremism that was nationally televised by C-SPAN.

Protecting Life: How to Get the Media Message Right for This Generation

Unborn lives hang in the balance as the battle of competing values rages.

One of Many Reasons to Attend NRB15: Networking!

When it comes to strategic networking opportunities for Christian media and ministry professionals, NRB’s International Christian Media Convention is a frontrunner.

Interview Opportunities at NRB15

Attention all NRB Members, Convention Exhibitors, and Convention Sponsors!

Prepare for NRB15 with the Free Mobile-Friendly ‘My Show’ Planner

This year’s NRB International Christian Media Convention has nearly 200 exhibitors to visit. Maximize your time on the Exhibit Floor by taking a few moments now to create your My Show Planner.

Post Your Job Openings, Resumes in Front of Thousands at NRB15!

Does your organization have openings that need to be filled? Do you want more candidates to apply for a key position?

New FCC Closed Captioning Laws to Focus on Quality

The FCC issued its first set of closed captioning requirements over sixteen years ago in order to provide telecommunications for the deaf and hard of hearing.

More News