H.R.4789 - Performance Rights Act

To provide parity in radio performance rights under title 17, United States Code, and for other purposes. view all titles (2)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Performance Rights Act as introduced.
  • Official: To provide parity in radio performance rights under title 17, United States Code, and for other purposes. as introduced.

This Bill currently has no wiki content. If you would like to create a wiki entry for this bill, please Login, and then select the wiki tab to create it.

Comments Feed

  • tonyt 05/12/2008 3:50pm

    I fell that this bill is going to end free radio. the radio companies are not reporting great profits. I see that the amount of revenue generated looks like alot, but the cost to run a broadcast company must not be cheap. what is the profit of the broadcast companies. i will back this bill if the profits are great. Satellite radio charges there listener and this is why I feel that they should pay. Now on the other hand I don’t agree on internet stations having to pay, unless they are charging there listeners.

  • Comm_reply
    floorburns 11/20/2009 4:49pm

    Satellite radio has also passed on to each subscriber a $2.99 a month performance fee, as of June of 2009. Radio stations don’t have that recourse. As far as a cap @ 1.5 million dollars, get serious, small radio, especially non-commercial stations do not come close to that. My small non-commercial station as of last years 100% performance rate increase from BMI and ASCAP is now paying almost 30% of our Gross donations for performance fees. IF there needs to be a fee payed let it be based on Gross yearly receipts not population. My station pays the same fees, with, and this is stretching the census, is 7,000 people, as does a station up to 299,000 people. IS this fair?

  • Analog 06/12/2008 6:18pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    This will definitely hurt a lot of public terrestrial stations. I find it disgusting that such a bill can be met with such approval from the Bush administration.

    It would not be surprising if most of the lobbying money, if not all of it, involving this bill, is from the RIAA.


  • pmolloy4 06/25/2008 7:14am

    Commercial radio stations broadcast millions of recordings every year and as a result they are able to sell $16 billion a year in advertising. We’re the only developed country that allows broadcasting corporations to enjoy such profits and provide no share for the musicians who create the very product that generates all the revenue.

    Contrary to popular thought, we’re not all rich celebrities. Most of us are struggling to pay our bills every month. This Bill would correct this horrible inequity.

  • tdruth 06/27/2008 5:30am

    To those who are skeptical of this legislation because of RIAA lobbying money involved, just look at H.R. 244. The only entity with stronger lobbying than RIAA is the National Assn of Broadcasters, i.e., Clear Channel, Cumulus, and others.

    This will do nothing to free radio – keep in mind that radio already pays a performance royalty to writers and publishers. Why should the artists who make a song famous be deprived of a similar benefit? Moreover, why should small, independent online radio have to pay a performance royalty but large, terrestrial stations not?

    This bill provides safeguards to small stations – if you don’t generate more than $1.25 million, your royalty is capped at $5K. If it’s a public station, the cap is even lower at $1K.

    Performance royalties are one way to ensure artists actually DO get paid for their efforts – as much as they get screwed by the majors, a performance royalty would flow through an independent third party and would not be subject to recoupment by the labels. A performance royalty is the single most artist-friendly concept out there today. The only justification for opposing it is increasing radio conglomerate’s profits (and soon even that won’t matter since the largest radio owner will soon be privately held).

  • steve_hunt_okc 08/11/2008 7:40pm


  • Anonymous 01/14/2009 5:25am

    Dear [ Decision Maker ] ,

    I am writing to ask for your support on “The Performance Rights Act” — S. 2500 and H.R. 4789. It’s legislation that grants a long-overdue performance right to performers when their music is played on the radio. Radio broadcasters in this country have built a multi-billion dollar industry by attracting their audience — and, in turn, paying advertisers — through the lure of music without paying one cent to the artists, musicians, and recording owners who created it. While songwriters are justly compensated when their compositions are played over the air, the law denies the same right to those who bring the songs to life.

    The Performance Rights Act will finally correct this blatant inequity.

    Broadcast radio’s complete exemption from paying artists, musicians, and recording owners is particularly egregious given the fact that every other radio platform — including satellite, Internet, and cable — does pay. In addition, broadcasters in every other developed country pay performers and recording owners when they play their music on the air. The U.S. stands among nations such as China, North Korea, and Iran in not compensating those who bring the music to life. And, because of our policy, foreign countries do not pay U.S. performers and recording owners when they play their music. Considering American music constitutes 30-50% of music worldwide, millions of dollars are being lost due to our country’s arbitrary broadcaster exemption.

    I hope you will support The Performance Rights Act to bring our law up to par with all the other developed nations. It is finally time to recognize and appropriately compensate those who make our country’s music — and broadcasting — industry the most vibrant in the world. Thank you — and if you have already agreed to be a co-sponsor on the bill, thank you for your support.


  • Anonymous 01/14/2009 5:26am

    Not only radio should pay both writers and performers for performance rights, but they should submit cue sheets so that the money can distributed correctly (like TVs do)

  • Comm_reply
    jjajnhm1 05/13/2009 6:45am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I oppose this bill. It is a ploy supported by record companies, all except one which are based overseas to make up for the financial losses caused by illegal downloads. The record companies really would like this bill to pass because they get to keep 50% of the proceeds from the tax to administer and distribute the monies to the artists, which in all likelihood will never see the money.
    This bill will cause many broadcasting companies to shut down, and millions will lose their jobs. If this happens the artist that this bill is supposed to help will be no better off than they are now, because the music won’t be played and if its not played they don’t get paid.

  • Comm_reply
    industrialtastic 05/27/2009 12:16pm

    I’m afraid your misinformed… this act is an opportunity for artists and, yes, labels, to receive compensation for the services THEY have been providing to radio stations since the birth of radio stations.

    The only “ploy” here is by Clear Channel and the National Association of Broadcasters opposition and propaganda campaigns against this bill. Clear Channel holds a much greater market share of radio than ANY major label does over record sales. They claim they cannot afford to pay royalties to artist, yet their gross revenue last year alone was around 7 BILLION.

    Universal Music Group, the largest label in the world, saw a gross revenue last year much less than Clear Channel. But this bill isn’t even about the major labels, or even mainstream artists: it’s about the independent artists and labels who are struggling to get by.

  • Comm_reply
    industrialtastic 05/27/2009 12:16pm

    The NAB continues to use fear tactics, saying that small broadcasters will be run out of business, when it has been perfectly spelled out that small broadcasters will pay much, much less than larger broadcasters: it is likely they will pay nothing at all, or a very low, flat, yearly fee.

    NOT only does the fact that the United States is the ONLY industrialized nation to not provide a performance royalty to artists hurt artists and labels, it is killing Internet and satellite radio. Digital transmissions ALREADY have to pay royalties, which essentially cripples them as they try to advance and challenge terrestrial radio, which already has a good 70 year head start. Digital transmission is the way of the future, and the fact that terrestrial radio is allowed to get away scott-free is only hindering advancement.

  • Comm_reply
    industrialtastic 05/27/2009 12:17pm

    Finally, I’ll address the idea of money being sent overseas. Since the US does not give a performance royalty to ANY artists or label, including foreign artists, EVERY other industrialized country in the world does NOT pay US artists a performance royalty. This has caused MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars in escrow to build up in foreign countries. As soon as this bill is passed, that money will flow into the United States. Since the majority of popular artists come from America, the vast majority of capital flow caused by this bills passage will be into the United States, NOT other countries.

  • Comm_reply
    MusicIsPower 10/13/2009 4:16am

    My perspective is that of a college radio station general manager. This issue is not as black and white as everyone seems to think it is. You’re right in that Clear Channel and other corporate radio has dominated the air waves financially for way too long.

    However, you say “the fact that terrestrial radio is allowed to get away scott-free…” This is untrue. Radio stations already pay royalty fees.

    I also don’t think you value the service radio provides “the independent artists and labels who are struggling to get by.” At my radio station, we make it a point to play A LOT of local music in order to promote them to our listeners. They are not providing us with a service, we are providing THEM with a service. Do they deserve to get paid? Yes. Is it our responsibility as a college radio station to pay a fee (most likely NOT go to the local musicians we play)? No.

  • Comm_reply
    MusicIsPower 10/13/2009 4:17am

    Small broadcasters already pay a lot of fees and, while it may be a very low, flat, yearly fee, it could still destroy a small station with a small operating budget.

    The real problem here is the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Reverse that, and problems will be solved. That is how the playing field can be evened. Radio stations should be community radio instead of corporate radio.

    You are right in that musicians provide corporate radio with a service because all corporate radio plays is music that is completely outdated and overplayed. The artists that are played do not NEED promotion. The problem is that corporate radio is not promoting music anymore, and for this they SHOULD be fined.

  • Comm_reply
    MusicIsPower 10/13/2009 4:17am

    But small, non-profit, community and college radio stations are still promoting music and they should not be fined one more cent.

    Also, major record labels need to realize that the industry is changing, and they cannot resort to nickel-and-diming everyone they can think of.

    If you want to create more jobs? Create more community radio stations. Want to help independent artists break on radio? Create more community radio stations.

    The model of corporate radio and the model of corporate music is not working anymore. It’s dying. And the PRA is NOT the solution. There are better ways to fix a problem. This is just a temporary solution proposed by the RIAA as an attempt to delay the death of the major record label.

  • xetrag 03/09/2009 8:44am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    This bill would eliminate millions of jobs, and seriously cripple one of the only free media we have left. As a small market DJ who has worked for radio groups owned by large companies I know exactly what would happen to my job, and millions others, it would vanish. The way these communications companies are organized is into smaller local radio groups. If one of these is unprofitable or unable to pay their own bills, they’re sold or disbanded. There are also fees that stations need to pay for the sound effects libraries used in their shows and spots, plus FCC taxes, fees, and penalties for mistakes. Plus the employees that they need to pay all at the local level. A radio group of eight stations would be destroyed.

    All radio stations pay licensing fees to companies like BMI who do pay the artists. So the artists are already getting paid. If there is an issue of not enough money going to the artists, go after companies like BMI, Sound Exchange, and ASCAP.

  • Jinx 03/10/2009 8:26pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Need more data on this section: “(3) grant an exemption from royalty payments for broadcasts of religious services and for incidental uses of musical sound recordings”

    Incidental uses… like… Youtube videos? Or merely television commercials?

    Remind me not to sell my guitar, otherwise we’ll be left making music with rocks and sticks once again….

  • glabita 03/31/2009 6:50am

    Ultimately, the artist must be paid the lions share. There are many stories of artists that have come and gone without being fully compensated for their creations while others, not involved in the creation process, benifit. This is an injustice. For those of you directly involved, you must step up and do the right thing and consider the root issue here…the artist.

  • Comm_reply
    jjajnhm1 05/13/2009 6:50am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    The artists shold be paid,by the record company, not the broadcasting industry that essentially provides the preformer with FREE publicity, and a means to increase their audience.

  • Landon76 05/14/2009 5:35am

    Passing this would open doors to new jobs. It would put all radio on an even playing field, and the writer/performers would be able to make a living by being compensated for what takes a long time and a lot of money to do.
    As it stands right now, Am/Fm stations are raking in money hand over fist and they do not pay anything for their product, just rake in advertising monies, and while doing this, they only put out 20 minutes of music every 60 minutes.
    By passing this bill, it would level the playing field for Satelite Radio, who pays the artists, and puts 60 minutes of music every 60 minutes. I am SICK of car commercials and furniture commercials every 3 or 4 minutes.
    Please support this to help create jobs, put more money into our economy, and make radio the way it should be, all entertainment all the time! Thank you.

  • dmitchell1985 05/20/2009 10:54am

    Recording artists should pay radio stations to play their songs! Airtime is the greatest form of advertising for recording artists outside of the Internet. As such, there isn’t a profitable artist around that doesn’t owe some of their lauded fame to radio play. I find it utterly absurd that radio stations should be forced to pay to benefit artists. This is a scam if I’ve seen one.

  • Comm_reply
    industrialtastic 05/27/2009 11:52am

    First of all, paying to get played on the radio is illegal: it’s called payola. The reason it is illegal because it would limit so greatly what kind of music you hear on the radio. If payola was legal, you would only hear the same twenty-or-so songs on the radio, and you would NEVER hear a single song from an independent artist, or an artist from an indie label. Payola still happens… but I’m getting side tracked.

    I’m fairly certain that music would exist without radio, since music existed long before radio, even gasp popular music. However, without music, music based radio would not exist. I think you have a distorted view of who needs who. Artists deserve to be compensated for their work…

  • rambleon95 06/05/2009 1:17pm

    Radio stations are eliminating all jobs and using a computer to play a set list. They are making good profit off advertisers using minimal operation (a simple computer system) and paying lazy upper management. Meanwhile the artists get promotion BUT shouldn’t they have the right to make money as well? Why can’t I start a channel on cable TV and play popular re-runs all day and night? They will force radio stations to hire TALENT! Also satellite radio has to pay to play music and its commercial free on many music stations! Using a computer to play top 40 songs and making money off artists is not right.

  • almundy 07/04/2009 8:23am

    We are just SICK, SICK, SICK of more hidden taxes!!! Run this Congress right out of the country. There are plenty of nations out there who operate the way they want to, let them have them ALL.

  • larrysturm 07/18/2009 11:24am

    Please do not support the NAB and their campaign to stop the Performance Rights Act from passing. Radio has had a free ride on the backs of musicians for it’s entire existence.
    All other free countries in the world collect performance royalties from radio. Cable, satellite and internet music stations pays a performance royalty, why not terrestrial radio?
    It’s unfair, unjustified and un-American that artists and musicians are paid absolutely nothing when their recordings that are played on AM and FM radio. Music is their work, their livelihood.

    The NAB and radio corporations are falsely calling this royalty a tax and using the airwaves, that we give them for free, to campaign to their listeners against this act. This is wrong.
    Please support the Performance Rights Act HR 4789 it’s the right thing to do.

  • MusicIsPower 10/13/2009 4:22am

    “Radio has had a free ride on the backs of musicians for it’s entire existence.” – This is not true. Musicians are the ones who have had a free ride from radio for its entire existence when THE RECORD LABELS SEND RADIO STATIONS CDs FOR AIRPLAY CONSIDERATION. (The only exception is pay to play from the major labels, which is wrong).

    “All other free countries in the world collect performance royalties from radio. Cable, satellite and internet music stations pays a performance royalty, why not terrestrial radio?” – Stations DO pay royalties.

    “artists and musicians are paid absolutely nothing when their recordings that are played on AM and FM radio.” – again, not true.

  • Comm_reply
    floorburns 11/20/2009 5:08pm

    Should we pay you to play music or should you pay us? IF radio went black how would you get your music played? I haven’t talked to anybody in the radio business that thinks playing without paying is right. They just want to pay a fair share according to their incomes. Non-Commercials really take a hit on these royalties. Most have a varied format that rarely includes 24/7 music. And because we are small stations we are left out of the equations and have no voice. Let’s see, singer gets a cut, songwriter gets a cut, label gets a cut, OK how about the guitar player, backup singer, sound man, light man, hair dresser, the guy that takes out all the brown M&M’s, Fender-Gibson guitars, or wait, how about MY RADIO station that played that song and HELP made it a Big hit. Don’t send me anymore demo’s, emails wanting to send demo’s, phone calls wanting to send demo’s. Does this sound like a free ride to you?

Vote on This Bill

37% Users Support Bill

17 in favor / 29 opposed

Send Your Rep a Letter

about this bill Support Oppose Tracking
Track with MyOC

Top-Rated Comments