Responding to a Congressional request for negotiations over the Performance Rights Act, the National Association of Broadcasters says it’s ready to chat, sort of.
“NAB is of course willing to talk with members of Congress on this issue and any issue that could negatively impact the ability of free and local hometown radio stations to serve our listeners,” declared NAB Vice President Dennis Wharton. “We would hope that any discussions would also include some of the nearly 300 members of Congress who oppose the RIAA-backed bill.”
That’s the acronym for the Recording Industry Association of America, of course, which wants Congress to require radio stations to pay royalties to the performers of songs that they broadcast. The NAB, and the rest of broadcasting, are ardently opposed to this proposal. Wharton’s comment roughly translates into: “We’d be happy to talk about what a dog of an idea this is with anybody.” But to be fair, surely the RIAA takes the opposite obstinate stance.
The Performance Rights Act has been successfully voted out of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. On Friday their principals sent letters to an NAB biggie and pro-PRA musicFIRST spokesperson Jennifer Bendall calling for negotiations before the bills hit the House and Senate floor. The talks would start on November 17.
Meanwhile the NAB says it has 252 House reps and 27 U.S. Senators supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution that opposes “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on terrestrial radio stations. That would appear to doom the PRA in the House, which has 435 members. But you never know about these things.
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