A bipartisan coalition of 124 Members of Congress have joined together to introduce resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate opposing “any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local broadcast radio stations. The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) signals Members of Congress’s opposition to any potential legislation that would impose new performance royalties on broadcast radio stations for music airplay. Among those supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act from Michigan are Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Rep. Upton, Fred (R-MI-6), Rep. Tim Walberg, Tim (R-MI-7) and Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-MI-10).
“America’s hometown broadcasters are deeply grateful for this broad, bipartisan display of Congressional support for the Local Radio Freedom Act,” said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. “Decade after decade, free radio airplay has propelled the careers of countless performing artists and generated hundreds of millions in revenue for the record labels. We thank lawmakers for standing in opposition to a job-killing performance royalty that threatens to destroy the economics of local radio.”
Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX-11) and Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) are the principal cosponsors of the Local Radio Freedom Act in the House of Representatives. Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are the lead cosponsors of a companion resolution in the Senate (S. Con. Res. 5).
“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 the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station broadcast over the air,” reads the Local Radio Freedom Act.
In the 115th Congress, a similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate in January 2017. The House resolution was introduced with 115 cosponsors, and eventually gathered 227 signatures. The Senate resolution garnered 28 signatures.