The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, chaired by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) will hold a hearing on Tuesday, July 31 at 10 am entitled "Ensuring Artists Fair Compensation: Updating the Performance Right and Platform Parity for the 21st Century". The witness list has not been released for this hearing yet, but you can get that information and more — and even watch the hearing via Internet webcast — on the Judiciary Committee’s homepage.

The Subcommittee will likely examine the performance right in sound recordings — songs — that is so controversial due to the sharp increase in royalty rates paid by those streaming music over the Internet. However, the proposal to create a similar performance right for over-the-air radio broadcasts will certainly be discussed as well, as recording artists have been pushing for these payments (often called a "performance tax" by those opposing the idea) and have created a new "Musicfirst" coalition to reach that end.

Interested broadcasters or individuals should consider sending a quick note to their Member of Congress if he or she sits on this subcommittee.