H.R. 848, The Performance Rights Act (36 comments ↓ | 5 wiki edits: view article ↓)

  • This item is from the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 848 would provide parity in radio performance rights under title 17, United States Code.

(

From the Blog

WashingtonWatch.com Digest - Week of July 13, 2009

This is the WashingtonWatch.com email newsletter for the week of July 13, 2009. Subscribe here. email newsletter | tell a friend | wiki | about | home | log in A New WashingtonWatch.com Project - Collecting Earmark Data WashingtonWatch.com...

Visitor Comments Comments Feed for This Bill


February 9, 2009, 1:01pm (report abuse)

It is time for the recording industry to embrace the changing times & quit using the government to force terrestrial/satellite radio also internet radio & internet streaming video services into paying royalties. It is a promotional tool to sell albums & concert tickets. It is basically a FREE form of advertisement for them. They technically should be paying terrestrial/satellite radio, internet radio & internet streaming video services. For example, if they were to advertise a new album on television they have to pay the station that is advertising it for them. There is no difference.


February 9, 2009, 1:21pm (report abuse)

Everybody's pushing a scam. Gimme mo' free money! And, the slimy, ignorant, "pay to play" parasites that comprise our "government" are just screaming for Americans to start erecting gallows and guillotines a la the French Revolution. Thankfully, the free rides are all about to end. After this little pull-back, the inflation tsunami is going to crush the hubris right out of all of us, and the ensuing ultra-depression will teach us the lessors of manners, civility and ethics we have long ago thrown to the wind.


February 9, 2009, 1:36pm (report abuse)

Party politics has taken the place of American politics. Pay to play lobbying needs to be exposed and the culprits need to be held accountable.

John Duncan Yoyo

February 9, 2009, 1:55pm (report abuse)

Lets call this what it is- The music industry shooting it's own feet off. How do they expect anyone ever discover a new artist if radio is all driven to talk radio.


February 9, 2009, 4:06pm (report abuse)

John Cornyn has become the worst sellout to big business in Texas. He does nothing but shill for the rich and big campaign donators. He's a disgrace to the Constitution and harms the citizens of Texas.


February 9, 2009, 5:08pm (report abuse)

I'm sure there must be somebody left who still listens to music on the radio -- this should handily solve that though.


February 9, 2009, 9:47pm (report abuse)

the gov and riaa are a bunch of [profanity]


February 9, 2009, 10:29pm (report abuse)

I say that we shut down all radio stations for a month and see how the recording industry fairs.

Baba Ganoush

February 10, 2009, 11:25am (report abuse)

I say: Fine, let's stop playing music on the radio. Call it quits! Then let's see how much money radio is costing them!


March 10, 2009, 1:27pm (report abuse)

Bye Bye College Radio!

nom de plume

May 12, 2009, 1:27pm (report abuse)

This tax will destroy small independent stations and minority-owned stations. Why should the stations have to pay a tax to ensure artists are compensated fairly? That responsibility should lie with the recording companies they work for! How do you expect a small station owner to fork over this kind of cash? The majority of these recording companies owned by foreign entities, and do not pay taxes in this country! They're laughing all the way to the bank!


May 13, 2009, 10:23am (report abuse)

The stations are very informative and necessary for such a time as this.


May 13, 2009, 4:47pm (report abuse)

This bill will die... not even get out of commitee. If a artist and his organization makes their music available via radio, they have to earn income via traditional means. Sheila Jackson-Lee is on the wrong side of this debate @ this time. Private business can handle this deal. Let the small, privately owned and public stations survive.

all for my black radio stations first then others

May 14, 2009, 9:44pm (report abuse)

Im against this bill because basically the radio is promoting the artist for free their record label or company should be the one paying the radio station for playing their songs back to back sometimes tax the record companies and leave our the people radio stations out of this. Radio stations already pay taxes for playing artist songs

R.L.Koplin_central Wisconsin

May 19, 2009, 1:46pm (report abuse)

If this goes through we (here in central Wisconsin and elswhere)will loose more services again (digital TV Sucks for Most of us non local viewers).

I will not spend my dwindling income on recorded music because it is not available on the local radio station. If they (local radio ) can survive on only news and un licenced entertainment it would be a miracle.

If this passes I will support an effort to oust the backers of this assult on the public.


May 22, 2009, 5:38pm (report abuse)

This is not a tax.

This is not a tax.

commenters who say it is a tax are either stupid or liars.

or both.

if the fcc licensees, who get their license to broadcast don't like it they can go out of business. As the licenses are quite valuable i don't think there is going to be any tag days for the owner of the licensees.



June 9, 2009, 12:36pm (report abuse)

If there is a service it should be taxed. If there is a product it should be taxed. If there is an income it should be taxed. If there is a financial gain it should be taxed. If you tax a portion you must tax all. If they live in a mansion they should be tax. If they live in a project they should be taxed. If they have a Bentley they should be taxed. If they have a Kia they should be taxed. If they eat lobster they should be taxed. If they eat chicken they should be taxed. If they earn money they should be taxed. If they receive money they should be taxed. If they smoke they should be taxed. If they drink they should be taxed. If they make law they should be taxed. If they break law they should be taxed. Tax them until they break & when they are broken tax them to clean up the mess that was left behind. When they return to their broken homes overtax them @ the state & local level. Tax them until their children beg for mercy. Tax their God Allah and Profits and then tax their prayers.


June 10, 2009, 5:21pm (report abuse)

Go to www.getmusictracks.com, we play nothing but independent artist and new music. Radio stations dont give the new artist the opportunity to have a hit single because they play the same music all the time. It comes to who is willing to pay for play. Internet radio is the next big thing! You can even stream from your phone and at the same time sell your album online instantly. Check out our staion and give me feedback if you dont mind, go to www.getmusictracks.com click on the 90.3 tab. Send your feedback to akrmanagement@gmail.com...thanks!

Brian Pride

June 22, 2009, 11:42am (report abuse)

If satellite, internet radio, and every other radio station out side the US has to pay a royalty (Not a Tax) then US radio should too. Fair is Fair. It's unfair to people like me that they use you dopey god fearin' christian types that don't have any of the facts right to push Big Radio's agenda. You should quit being the NAB's muscle and start using your own minds. The performance fees that they are looking to make radio pay the artists are ridiculously small.


June 25, 2009, 3:27pm (report abuse)

I won't sit idly by and do nothing. I just finished writing my congressman. I encourage all of you to do the same. Go to this site to find your congress person. Write them and let them know you disagree with this new license fee or whatever it is called.


June 25, 2009, 3:34pm (report abuse)

Brian Pride. What does Christianity have to do with this discussion? I am aware it is not a tax. However, at this time there is an economic downturn. Requiring anyone to pay more for something that they did not pay for in the past is not good thing. I am sure if the radio stations have to end up paying more money the listening audience will have to pay. I don't own a satellite radio so therefore what they pay doesn't concern me. People who do have it also pay for it so what is your point? It isn't as if Satellite radio is free to the listener. That is their chose mind you. A lot of internet radio stations get revenue from advertisements. But if the revenue from the advertisers has not increased who will bear the brunt of these new fees? No you need to shut up and get your facts straight. Small radio stations that are barely making ends meet as it is will probably have to shut down if their expenses are more than the revenue they are bringing in.


July 2, 2009, 11:45am (report abuse)

This radio tax has nothing to do with royalties or performance fees but is the beginning of censorship. Stop radio, have a night of burning books, and, together with the Civilian Expeditionary Force, we have Germany 1930


July 18, 2009, 2:05pm (report abuse)

I work for a small independent non profit radio station in a smaller market of the Los Angeles Metro Area. From my understanding of this bill. This would infact cripple are station from being able to provide exceptional broadcasting to are community.

Randy in Jackson Hole

August 10, 2009, 7:25pm (report abuse)

I'm very glad to see the tide of outrage over this bill. Obviously Patrick Leahy and his ilk have introduced this bill under the guise of "fairly compensating" the recording artists. But their ploy is so transaparent...and very disturbing. As many have responded...this bill would literally kill "free radio" as we know it. Free radio, over the years, has provided artists with the valuable services of "airplay" and "publicity." I cannot think of one major recording artist who does NOT owe their success to Free Radio. Our wonderful greedy politicians are out for blood on this one...but theirs will be spilled first through the election process. Throw the bums voting for this bill...out of office!


August 10, 2009, 11:25pm (report abuse)

First, the copyright owners of most music are the big labels, EMI, Warner, CBS/Sony, etc. The "artist" is on a work made for hire contract and in cases of top artists such as Madonna are well compensated. This should be done more like the songwriter's do it with a license negociated by a third party such as Harry Fox and an option not to ask for a free or to grant "freebees" and this would stimulate "non-major lable" artists, such as indy lables and home grown pressings who opt out of the license process. This "tax" can be turned into something that provides "alternative" music offerings and takes control out of the "Major Lables."


August 14, 2009, 6:04pm (report abuse)

If its not a "Tax" then why is the government forcing it? Last time I checked taxes are not an option. Call this new bill whatever you want but sounds like a tax to me all the same.


September 6, 2009, 11:12am (report abuse)

Why does anyone want to create "parity" between radio stations? To ensure that all stations are controlled by big business? All this is going to do is ensure that there isn't any competition to the corporations that own multiple stations.

It's time for congress to stop making laws that make no sense. Enough is enough already! If you cannot create a law that is beneficial to the people, STOP MAKING THEM!!!



October 4, 2009, 4:34pm (report abuse)

Should this bad bill pass, it will change the face of America forever. No longer would Americans from generation to generation be able to enjoy the pioneers signers and artists that radio helped create in the first place. This could result in future generations never hearing a song by Elvis, B.B.King, Dione Warwick, the Beatles, etc. Because, seriously, do they really expect radio stations to pay thousands to pay 30 and 40 year old songs. It's a money grab by the recording industry. Make no mistake about that.


November 8, 2009, 2:48pm (report abuse)

I am a law student analyzing this issue for journal publication. Artists have pushed for this right for quite some time (there is a case from the late 1930s pushing against radio free use). The fact that radio stations promote music is a post hoc rationalization for a free ride they have enjoyed for over 70 years. We don't say that movie makers shouldn't pay licensing fees to writers because a movie "promotes" their book. Also, the specific contractual provisions allocating payments between record labels and artists have nothing to do with whether radio should pay artists a performance right fee. The NAB is a powerful lobby that has successfully blocked legislation of this nature for decades. The Act is not aimed at protecting superstars, but those who earn no revenue off touring, album sales, etc. or have long been out of the industry (like session players). Admittedly, both conglomerates need a business model change, but artists deserve these payments regardless.


November 15, 2009, 9:08pm (report abuse)

I'm a law student analyzing the bill as well and I second Nashvillian's comment. The time has come to repair the disparate treatment of performers. No one complains when the radio stations have to pay the songwriters or composers to play their music. The fact that performers get promotion from the radio stations doesn't mean that we should deprive them of their right to their own work! Radio is a $6 billion industry that has gotten away with not paying for the music they play for too long!


November 28, 2009, 11:48am (report abuse)

Weighing in kind of late. But I'm kind of at odds with this bill. I do think the recording industry is shooting themselves, but I mean with as much money as artists have to pay to have radio play (not necessarily continual) its only fair that some of this money comes back. While it is unlikely that it is all going to the artist the fact that in order to have your music played if you are not Jay-Z or Lil wayne or a popular person like that you have to pay anywhere from $500-2000(depending on station/dj) for a play and if you want it continually you better come with like $10k or be related to someone at the station. So radio is not free advertisement in contrast to some earlier posts...however what I do not agree with is the tax b/c it will give incentive to well established artists who the stations wont mind paying rather than a mediocre artist still building their career.


February 22, 2010, 12:08pm (report abuse)

According Barry's flawed logic income tax is not really a tax, if someone does not like the income tax then don't get a job. If it forces a business or individual to pay then it is a tax. This time it is a tax that will subsidize the MAFIAA(Music And Film Industry Association Of America). If a Radio station must pay in order to remain in business then it is a tax, plain and simple.


March 21, 2010, 2:30pm (report abuse)

Niki don't make comments like that with out having a clue what you are talking about.... Payola? Really? Yes this is a Tax, if passed it will be a mandatory fee. This is just another nail in the broadcasting coffin of small market radio stations. JohnW seems to have it figured out.


October 8, 2010, 4:32pm (report abuse)

If what we are hearing is true, than radio as we know it will go away. Yes the younger generation do not remember radio being the only thing to enjoy when you had nonthing.

It do not matter to them, it is yesterday, old news but if not for this old idea, where would we be now.

Let us keep free radio and maybe the younger generation will understand when they are the old ones, yesterday news and idea that has passed.

Mr O

November 18, 2010, 5:42pm (report abuse)

Pay the artist. They got screwed by the record companies already, so if the stations want to play their music, they should pay them accordingly. Russ Parr's excuse was that playing the artist songs was free advertisement? Cathy Hughes of Radio One the biggest complainer say's that this tax will kill black radio? Black radio died when it started giving time to Farrakan, Sharpton, and Jackson, who don't speak for me. Cathy Huges made $331 Million last year and gave her son a $10 Million bonus. Cathy Hughes, you killed black radio. DC black radio is mostly about blaming white people for everything like rain storms, the Obama Administration, Beta Vs VHS and the Redskins.


February 11, 2011, 11:00am (report abuse)

Looks like the chickens are coming home to roost for the radio stations, PAYOLA is REAL, folks.

I work for an independent record label, we deal with it every day people. Looks like the shoe is on the other foot now, doesnt it?

RSS Feeds for This Bill

Keep yourself updated on user contributions and debates about this bill! (Learn more about RSS.)