Local Radio Freedom Act Aims To Keep Music Radio Alive

As the year comes to a close, the National Association of Broadcasters continues to rally support among members of the current Congress for the Local Radio Freedom Act, which is legislation opposing new performance royalties on radio stations which play music.

According to NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton, the resolution is meant to prevent Congress from passing any legislation requiring broadcasters to pay record labels or recording artists every time radio stations play music. "Now, we continue to pay nearly $500-million in fees to song writers," said Wharton, "but because of the promotional value of over-the-air radio air play, that redounds to the benefit of both the artist and the record label in that generates record sales."Getty Images

Wharton says the recording industry realized some time ago that its business model was crumbling with the music consumers taking advantage of streaming services like Apple iTunes which provide single songs for 99-cents, and trouble with piracy on the Internet, instead of paying for a collection of songs on an album or CD, as was the case years ago.  "They saw an opportunity to slap additional fees on radio station to make up for the tremendous losses that have been caused by the Internet to our business," Wharton told KFBK News.

The NAB says 215 House members have signed onto the Local Radio Freedom Act and it takes 218 House votes for a majority.  In the Senate there are 25 Senators out of 100 who back the resolution.  In addition, Wharton claimed that some members of Congress has said they will support the resolution, even though they have not added their names to the list of members who are offering public support.

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