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Performance Tax fight wages anew

 - Texans file opposition measure in Congress

Texas Congressmen Mike Conaway, R-Midland, and Gene Green, D-Houston, last week renewed their fight on behalf of local Radio stations to prevent Congress from approving a performance royalty or “tax” on airing music by refiling a resolution expressly opposing such a measure.

The two Texans filed HConRes 13, called The Local Radio Freedom Act, at the start of the new Congress with 115 co-sponsors, 21 more than when the bipartisan anti-royalty resolution was filed at the beginning of the last Congress in 2015.

Eight of the co-sponsors also are Texans, including:

  • Rep. Brian Babin, R-Woodville
  • Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi
  • Rep. Bill Flores, R-Waco
  • Rep. Al Green, D-Houston
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso
  • Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble
  • Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth
  • Rep. Randy Weber, R-Pearland

Another 12 Texas members of Congress co-sponsored the resolution previously and TAB has launched efforts to secure their renewal as NAB strives to reach the 218 majority needed to stymie consideration of legislation authorizing a performance royalty. The previous resolution garnered 234 co-sponsors, including the authors.

Legislation establishing a performance royalty has not yet been introduced in the new Congress, but record labels are hoping that the new Trump administration will help them.

NAB’s statement on last week’s filing of the resolution noted the following recent comments by musicians crediting local Radio stations for their success:

"He's completely responsible [for our fame]. He was the first one to play us on the radio."
-- Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell referring to then-radio DJ Carson Daly, Today, October 31, 2016

"I want to keep writing songs that matter. There's not quite a greater feeling than having a song of yours come on the radio. You can't help it, you just turn it up a little louder. Having people tell you they heard your song on the radio and it affected them in some way, whether it's laughing, crying, dancing—that’s why I do what I do."
-- Country music songwriter Andrew Dorff, MusicRow, "Exclusive: Songwriter Andrew Dorff Finds Inspiration In Books, Life And Competition," October 6, 2016

"Radio is what it always has been. Radio might not want to be the place where you discover things, but they still are. Artists and radio will always be brothers in the discovery process of bringing new music to people. Between country radio and the artist, (it's our job) to bring music to people that changes people's lives — good, bad, makes them cry. It’s what we do."
-- Garth Brooks, The Tennessean, “Garth Brooks parts with RCA, looks for promo team,” August 8, 2016

"You know it's the thing where there’s been so much work put into it and you always dream of this day, but until it really hits radio it doesn’t quite seem real until you’re driving on the road, and hear it in your car…or friends, or family start texting you and calling you, and saying 'I just heard you’re song on the radio' that it’s kind of made it all real."
-- LANco lead vocals Brandon Lancaster, Sounds Like Nashville, “LANco Gets Excited to Hear Their Single on the Radio,” July 23, 2016

"If you want YouTube to be compared to terrestrial radio, then you have to be a good partner to artists like radio is. Radio works with artists so they can present music to their fans in the way they intended. Radio does not provide unlimited, on-demand access to music which can be shared. Radio doesn’t leak music, and it doesn't make unfinished or poor-quality live recordings available."
-- Azoff MSG Entertainment Chairman and CEO Irving Azoff, Re/code, “Dear YouTube: An open letter from Irving Azoff,” May 9, 2016

"I always love hearing songs on the radio, that’s the highlight of my life."
-- Chairman and CEO of Epic Records L.A. Reid about writing “Every Little Step” by Bobby Brown, February 23, 2016

"I think every bit of research we’ve seen shows that the primary way people intersect with music and learn about music is still radio."
-- Universal Music Group Nashville CEO and Chairman Mike Dungan, The Tennessean, "Universal Music Group exec: Country radio still strong," February 10, 2016

"Radio is the only reason I’m still kicking today. The only reason I'm making music, the only reason I’m still able to get my voice heard. Even having this conversation right now is because of the radio. The radio has never turned their back on me...Radio has the most influence in my career."
-- Chris Brown, interview on KPWR Power 106 (Los Angeles), December 17, 2015

"After I heard it on the radio, it was such a relief. I went to the toilet and cried my eyes out."
-- Adele on hearing radio airplay of her single “Hello” for the first time, November 23, 2015


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

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