Two Texas Congressmen introduced a House concurrent resolution late yesterday opposing a performance right for artists and record companies to receive royalties for recordings played over terrestrial radio. Fifty-one others co-sponsored the resolution, which is essentially an expression of opinion rather than a bill.
The resolution (H. Con. Res. 244), introduced by Reps. Gene Green, D-Tex.,
and Mike Conaway, R-Tex., states:
"Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings."
The preamble of the resolution indicates that the supporters believe that creating the right would upset "the mutually beneficial relationship between
local radio and the recording industry [since] local radio stations provide free publicity and promotion to the recording industry and performers of music."
The preamble also claims that "many thousands of local radio stations...will suffer severe economic hardship if any new performance fee is imposed, as will many other small businesses that play music including bars, restaurants, retail establishments, sports and other entertainment venues, shopping centers and transportation facilities."
Contrary to this statement, artists and record companies have limited their request for the performance right to terrestrial radio -- not to bars, restaurants or other small businesses or venues. Sources close to artists and labels have told Billboard.biz that they have no intent to extend the right to any business other than terrestrial radio broadcasters.