Opposition to a performance right applicable to over the air radio reached 218 and beyond as five more Representatives signed on as co-sponsors to the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 49). While this is a non-binding resolution, its plain language is clear:
That 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 such public performance of sound recordings
We’ve added the emphasis on "any" because House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers continues to work toward passage of the Performance Rights Act, which would impose precisely the kind of new performance fee that the Local Radio Freedom Act would bar. Conyers recently introduced amendments to the Performance Rights Act in the hopes that it would be more palatable to opposing Member; he also held a "Town Hall" meeting in his home district on Tuesday. But with support for the Local Radio Freedom Act now exceeding a majority of the House, the prospects for success of Conyers’s contrary proposal appear non-existent.
We always knew that HR 848 would pass Conyer’s committee, but despite his best efforts, it’s hard to believe that the number of co-sponsors for the Local Radio Freedom Act will do anything but continue to increase.