WASHINGTON, DC – Following today's vote in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton released the following statement.
"Today's vote comes as a complete non-surprise, given the House IP Subcommittee's history of support for the RIAA-backed tax on local radio stations. Despite today's action, there remains broad bipartisan resistance to the RIAA tax from members of Congress who question whether a punitive fee on America's hometown radio stations should be used to bail out the failing business model of foreign-owned record labels."
Yesterday, Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) circulated a letter to colleagues noting the momentum for the Local Radio Freedom Act, which staunchly opposes a performance tax. The letter, which urges additional support for the resolution, cites the official co-sponsor count according to the Library of Congress, 221, a figure that includes 219 active members of House of Representatives (Reps. Roger Wicker and Al Wynn no longer serve in the House).
A companion resolution, S. Con. Res. 82, has been introduced in the Senate and is supported by 13 senators.
"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 such public performance of sound recordings," reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.