Performance Rights Act Passes Senate Committee

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Washington - Oct 15, 2009 - The Performance Rights Act (S.379) was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. If signed into law, the bill will require terrestrial broadcasters to pay a performance fee on music played over the air. A similar bill has already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee (H.R. 848).

The Music First Coalition, a strong supporter of the bill, claimed a major victory, saying musicians are "one step closer to winning the fight for fundamental justice that has been waged by countless artists and musicians over the last 80 years."

Meanwhile, resolutions are still in the House and Senate to oppose levying the performance fee. In the Senate, Sens. Blanche Lincoln (AR) and John Barrasso (WY) introduced S. Con. Res. 14, and in the House, Reps. Gene Green (TX) and Mike Conaway (TX) introduced H. Con. Res. 49. Both are known as the Local Radio Freedom Act. 251 representatives and 26 senators support the respective resolutions.

Today, the NAB also released survey results that say a majority of Americans oppose legislation to enact the performance right fee. The poll reveals that 75 percent of participants do not support a performance fee levied on radio stations, and 85 percent recognize the promotional value radio airplay brings to artists and their music.

The NAB poll was conducted from Aug. 24 to 31, 2009, and randomly surveyed 1,000 likely voters nationwide to examine attitude toward the performance rights fee debate. The survey was conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, a Washington, DC-based firm.

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