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New York Congressman advances Performance Royalty

 - Bill comes as record industry mounts lobbying frenzy

The international record labels’ top priority – a Congressional mandate forcing local Radio stations to pay a performance royalty – is now working its way through Congress after a New York lawmaker last week filed legislation to make it a reality. This new royalty would be on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties already paid annually to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and now GMR.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, re-introduced the so-called “Fair Play, Fair Pay Act” on the eve of the GRAMMYS on the Hill lobbying extravaganza in Washington, DC this week. The group is targeting lawmakers serving on the House Judiciary Committee and other key panels with a concert at a swanky DC restaurant, in addition to individual meetings on Capitol Hill.

The move was anticipated and comes as local Radio broadcasters are recruiting Members of Congress to sign onto HConRes 13, The Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes precisely the measure Nadler is advocating.

The anti-performance royalty resolution is authored by Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Midland, and has the support of 167 other House members, including 15 other Texans. Five more Texas Congressmen have supported local Radio broadcasters in the past but have yet to renew this session, including:

Texas Radio broadcasters are encouraged to contact these lawmakers and ask them to renew their stance on this issue by co-sponsoring HConRes 13. The measure needs a bare majority of 218 to succeed in staving off a performance royalty; last session it garnered 234 co-sponsors.

Talking Points

While House leaders have indicated that they intend to prioritize health care, tax and immigration reform, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, is reportedly eager to complete a revamp of the Copyright Act before his term as chairman ends in 2018. Such a revamp could include a performance royalty and several other issues involving various music royalty concerns.

Thank Current Sponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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