NAB comments on songwriter royalty legislation
In response to the introduction of legislation 5/12 in the Senate to increase the rates that songwriters are paid when their music is played on local radio stations and other platforms, NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said: “NAB respectfully opposes this legislation, which could impose new costs on broadcasters that jeopardize the future of our free locally-focused service. While this legislation raises important issues about the changes confronting the songwriter community, NAB objects to changes in law that would deal with the financial imbalance between songwriters and artists by subjecting free broadcast radio stations to new fees.”
On the house side, House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, introduced on 5/7 H.R. 4588, the Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act. This bipartisan legislation would condition the ability of broadcasters to opt for retransmission consent payments on whether radio stations they own pay performers for their music.
“This is a basic issue of modernizing the law to get rid of a dated loophole that only applies to AM/FM radio,” Blackburn said. “Internet radio pays music creators fair market value for their performances, Satellite radio pays music creators for performances, Cable and Satellite TV/radio stations pay music creators for their performances. Everyone but AM/FM radio pays.”