NewsJul 23, 05:00 PM
S. Con Res. 14 and H. Con. Res. 49, the broadcasters’ resolution, asserts that requiring radio to pay royalties to performers to use their property, as they do songwriters, would hurt small broadcasters. In May, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill (by an overwhelming majority of 21-9) that established a mere nominal payment by small and noncommercial broadcasters. The vast majority of rural, minority, religious and educational broadcasters will only have to pay this nominal amount, which cannot go up without an act of Congress. In the bill:
- Stations with revenue less than $100,000 / year pay only $500 / year
- Stations with revenue between $100,000 and $500,000 / year pay only $2500 / year
- Stations with revenue between $500,000 and $1.25 million / year pay only $5000 / year
- Noncommercial stations with gross receipts less than $100,000 / year pay only $500 (other noncoms pay only $1000)
- Music from worship services or other religious assembly, and incidental uses of music, are completely exempt.
The broadcasters’ resolution states that paying to use someone else’s private property would be a “tax” that could cause economic hardship. In fact, the bill provides instant relief from the current economic situation to avoid any negative economic impact on broadcasters. In addition to the above, the bill provides that:
- Any station that makes less than $5m pays NOTHING for 3 years
- Any station that makes more than $5m pays NOTHING for 1 year
The broadcasters state that the royalty rate would be unfair. In fact, the bill creates parity for all radio services to assure a fair rate for all radio platforms. The bill:
- Establishes a rate standard to determine a fair rate for all radio services that will encourage negotiations between the stakeholders and take into account their value
The broadcasters’ resolution states that a royalty would hurt local communities. The bill assures this cannot happen:
- Assures that a royalty cannot affect broadcasters’ public interest obligations to serve the local community
The broadcasters state that paying a royalty to use another’s work would hurt local programming and localism. The bill addresses this by requiring the following:
- In setting the rate for stations not covered by the nominal payments above, the Copyright Royalty Judges are required to consider evidence of local non-music programming relevant to locally owned stations.
The broadcasters’ resolution states that a royalty would hurt all small businesses. The bill:
- Does not apply to small businesses such as restaurants, bars, venues, stores or other establishments. It is limited to creating parity among radio platforms to assure AM/FM, satellite, cable, mobile and Internet radio are treated similarly and compete fairly.
Please Cosponsor the “Performance Rights Act”
S. 379 and H.R. 848
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