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Record labels ramp up Performance Tax effort as Congress returns

- Broadcasters still shy of majority support

With Congress back in DC after the summer recess, the record labels and the group that presents the GRAMMY Awards are stepping up pressure on lawmakers to pass a Performance Tax on radio stations. 

The House Judiciary Committee is slated to launch a series of roundtable discussions in Nashville on Sept. 22, with more planned across the country, and the GRAMMY group is planning calls on Congress for a “grassroots initiative” on Oct. 14.

The Sept. 22 event in Nashville, adjacent to the district of Performance Tax advocate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is touted as a “copyright review listening tour” but is expected to focus primarily on music issues ranging from the payment of royalties on digital play and copyright protection of pre-1972 sound recordings to digital streaming rates and the question of adopting a Performance Tax.

Attorney David Oxenford with Wilkinson Barker Knauer outlines the proceedings not just in the Judiciary Committee, but also in the Copyright Office and the Department of Justice here.

While broadcasters have secured support from well more than 200 members of the U.S. House for a measure opposing a Performance Tax, the effort is still short of the majority 218 signatures needed. 

To date, Texas leads the nation in the number of House members cosponsoring HConRes 17, the Local Radio Freedom Act, by Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Midland, and Gene Green, D-Houston, but a handful of holdouts are still being targeted by TAB and local broadcasters.

The fallacy of the pro-Performance Tax argument is laid out in this op-ed piece for The Daily Caller.

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