The National Association of Broadcasters -- the radio stations' trade association - and the Recording Academy have weighed in on Clear Channel's agreement to pay sound recording performance royalties to the Big Machine Label Group, which Billboard.biz announced exclusively earlier today.
"NAB remains steadfastly opposed to a government-mandated performance tax on local radio stations," NAB executive VP of communications Dennis Wharton said in a statement. "Beyond our respect for private contracts, we take no position on free-market agreements negotiated between broadcast companies and other businesses."
Apparently anticipating such a response from the NAB, the Recording Academy weighed in with a statement earlier today. Recording Academy CEO/President Neil Portnow said: "After years of public pressure and private negotiations, today's acknowledgment by the country's largest radio broadcaster that artists deserve a performance right is a step in the right direction. But until every broadcaster is paying all creators for their work, we will continue our efforts to secure an industry-wide, legislative solution. Congress has shown a sincere interest in solving this problem, and with Clear Channel's recognition of the terrestrial performance right, continued opposition by the NAB will now ring hollow on Capitol Hill."
Earlier today, Clear Channel became the first radio company to agree to pay such a royalty, albeit initially on a limited basis with one record label, Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Label Group. The music industry has long sought a sound recording performance royalty, while the radio industry has so far beat back every legislative attempt to enact such a royalty.