Royalty Debate: Lock Labels And Broadcasters In A Room

CommunityRadioCartoonThe growing royalty spat between radio broadcasters and record labels continues to deepen as labels demand a performance rights royalty for themselves and artists, while radio asserts it simply is not affordable. As industry observers know, currently songwriters and publishers are the only stakeholders to get paid a performance fee by U.S. terrestrial radio.

According to arstechnica.com the latest salvo aimed at solving the dispute has come from Congress who has pushed the two parties into a “Capitol Hill conference room” where they have been instructed to hash out a solution in two weeks that will then be voted upon.

Until now, terrestrial radio has been exempted from a performance in sound copyright thanks to a long standing clause in the copyright rules. Satellite radio and webcasters, however, are mandated to pay royalties to labels and artists as are radio stations throughout most of the rest of the world.

gramophoneThe House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee have already approved a Performance Rights Act, which still has to be voted on in each chamber. The upcoming talks would be lead by members from the two committees who have invited representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters and the musicFIRST coalition made up of SoundExchange, RIAA and A2IM. “With your good faith participation, we are confident that an acceptable and mutually beneficial resolution to this longstanding disagreement can be found,” reads the letter aimed at bringing the sides together and sent from the leaders of both Congressional committees. The talks are scheduled to begin on Nov. 17 and reach a compromise by Dec. 1. A final solution, however, is not a foregone conclusion since the radio industry claims it has the support 252 House members and 27 Senate members who support the Local Radio Freedom Act and oppose the Performance Rights Act.

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Category: Artist, Featured, Label, Radio

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. dross@musicrow.com

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