LRFA Support Continues To Grow In D.C.
Written by: Adam Jacobson
Published by: Radio & Television Business Report
Here’s some news that the musicFIRST Coalition won’t like reading.
A NAB-endorsed resolution opposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local broadcast radio stations continues to gain support on Capitol Hill, with one more U.S. Senator and a half-dozen House members pledging to vote against any bill that would bring any new performance royalties to broadcast radio.
The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) is a “resolution,” not proposed legislation, despite its name.
Even so, the ever-growing support of the LRFA suggest that musicFIRST and lobbyists representing the interest of songwriters, music publishers and the world’s biggest music companies are losing steam in the latest effort to successfully introduce into law new legislation that would have AM and FM radio stations compensate them for music airplay — added royalties to what radio stations already pay.
As of June 24, the LRFA now has 181 co-sponsors in the House and 23 in the Senate.
Adding their support recently for the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House are Reps. Larry Bucshon, John Curtis, Dusty Johnson, Ben Ray Lujan, Chris Pappas and Marc Veasey.
Adding his support for the companion resolution in the Senate is Indiana Republican Mike Braun.
Florida Democrat Kathy Castor and Texas Republican Michael Conaway are the principal cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House of Representatives (H. Con. Res. 20).
In the Senate, Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming and Democrat Martin Heinrich of New Mexico are the lead cosponsors of a companion resolution, S. Con. Res. 5.
The resolutions in both the House and Senate are one of the greatest bipartisan feats of the current Congress, which is largely unwilling to offer legislation supported by both Republicans and Democrats in an era where voters apparently are fueling the “us or nothing” approach to politics, veteran strategist James Carville told Media Finance Focus conference attendees in May.
The LRFA specifically states that Congress “should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over the air, or on any business for the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station broadcast over the air.”