The battle between the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) and the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) is officially “on” again. Both the broadcasting industry and the recording industry saw their signature, opposing legislative proposals introduced to the 118th Congress in the space of four days.
The LRFA made its high-impact debut in the House of Representatives on February 6 with a remarkable 119 original cosponsors for H.Con.Res.13. Meanwhile, the AMFA, introduced on February 3, ahead of the Grammy Awards, attracted just three supporters in each chamber for H.R.791 and S.253.
On Tuesday morning, the NRB issued a statement of support.
“There’s never been a more important time to maintain access for Christian communicators, and one way to do that is to help protect a business environment that allows small, local, and independent radio to thrive,” said President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “Our members not only minister to the spiritual welfare of America through Christian music, talk, and teaching, but they actively seek to meet the needs of the community through service and charitable activities. We’re committed to protecting their ability to do so, and the NRB thanks the 119 bipartisan members of Congress who have already expressed their support for local radio by cosponsoring the Local Radio Freedom Act.”
The recording industry has long pushed for a major government expansion into the music licensing space through a federally-mandated performance tax on radio stations, a move that would principally benefit the three major record labels that control more than 70 percent of music. The Local Radio Freedom Act expresses a commitment from Congress not to levy “any new performance fee, tax, royalty or other charge” on local radio broadcasters.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) also weighed in, applauding “these 119 original cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act for supporting local radio listeners and stations in their districts. Broadcast radio provides a unique and irreplaceable service to listeners free of charge,” said NAB President & CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “While foreign record labels seek to line their pockets at the expense of local radio, listeners and artists, we appreciate the lawmakers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their local radio stations in firm opposition to a new performance fee.”
NRB expresses its great appreciation to the 119 original House cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act for standing with local radio!