Berman Sees Artist Royalties Based on Audience Size$rol.exe/headline_id=b10199

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) says broadcast radio has an “unfair competitive advantage” over satellite and Internet radio channels, and he wants radio to pay performance fees for the music they air. He told the San Fernando Valley Business Journal that he and others are working on legislation to levy royalties on the radio industry.

“We are working on getting legislation ready to introduce, which the radio guys don’t like,” the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property told the newspaper. “Anybody who is transmitting radio digitally has to pay, but over-the-air terrestrial is one platform that is exempt. They have what I think of as an unfair competitive advantage.”

Berman seemed certain that the bill would pass and that broadcasters would pay “a few cents on the dollar,” basing rates on the size of a radio station’s audience. “They are selling commercial advertising and are drawing customers and are economically exploiting for their programming the work of someone else. That is what compensation is for,” he added. (09-04-07)

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