Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) jointly introduced legislation today that would end the exemption of terrestrial radio stations from current copyright law which requires satellite radio, cable radio channels, and Internet webcasts to pay a royalty for the use of sound recordings.

The 'Performance Rights Act' remove the broadcaster exemption in the copyright law to assure that all platforms pay a performance royalty to artists.

The proposed legislation would give over-the-air broadcast stations the ability to use a statutory license and make one payment annually under a government-set rate for all the music they play, instead of having to negotiate with every copyright owner for each use of music.

Under the legislation, small commercial stations would pay $5,000 per year; noncommercial stations would pay $1,000 per year; stations that make only incidental uses of music, such as "talk radio" stations, would not pay for that music; and religious services that are broadcast on radio would be completely exempt.