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The Performance Rights Act
Summary & Statements On The Performance Rights Act
By Mi2N
(more articles from this author)
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Summary Of Performance Rights Act Of 2009 By Section

Sec. 1. Short Title. This Act may be cited as the Performance Rights Act of 2009.

Sec. 2. Equitable Treatment for Terrestrial Broadcasts. This section applies the performance right in a sound recording to all audio transmissions and removes the exemption on paying public performance royalties currently in place for over-the-air broadcasters by amending Sections 106 and 114 of the Copyright Act.

The section also permits broadcasters to take advantage of the statutory license in Section 114 by amending subsection 114(j), but does not impose additional restrictions on the use of the license. Rates for commercial broadcasters that are not covered by Section 3 will be set in accordance with subsection 114(f).

Sec. 3. Special Treatment for Small, Noncommercial, Educational, and Religious Stations and Certain Uses. Small commercial broadcasters -- those whose gross revenues are less than $1,250,000 in any given year -- will pay $5000 per year for a blanket license. Noncommercial broadcasters -- those stations that are public, educational, or religious under Section 118 -- will pay $1000 per year for a blanket license. Such payments will not be due until the Copyright Royalty Board determines rates for large commercial broadcasters.

Sound recordings used only incidentally by a broadcaster and sound recordings used in the transmission of a religious service are exempt.

Sec. 4. Availability of Per Program License. When determining rates for broadcasters, the Copyright Royalty Board shall include a per program license for broadcast stations.

Sec. 5. No Harmful Effects on Songwriters. This section strengthens the provision in Section 114 that preserves the rights of songwriters and clarifies that nothing in the Performance Rights Act of 2007 shall adversely affect the public performance rights of songwriters or copyright owners of musical works.

Rich Bengloff, President A2IM (American Association of Independent Music):
"A2IM would like to thank Senator Leahy and Representative Conyers, as well as their co-sponsoring colleagues, as true friends of the music community who understand that creators of music and those that invest in its creation should be compensated for their work. As the manufacturing and service industries have moved offshore, the need to support those in the United States who create intellectual property has never been more important to our economy!"

John Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange:
"The importance of fairness in getting paid for the work that you do has never been as profound as it is during these uncertain economic times. It's a very rational, thought-through piece of legislation that not only seeks fairness for music's creators, but does it in a fair-minded way. For example, while it recognizes the importance of paying people for their work, it ensures that small and non-commercial radio stations are protected."

David Rehr, President and CEO of NAB (National Association of Broadcasters):
"Local radio broadcasters consider this fee a 'performance tax' that will not only harm your local radio stations, but will threaten new artists trying to break into the business as well as your constituents who rely on local radio. Although the proponents of H.R. 848 claim this bill is about compensating artists, in actuality at least half of this fee will go directly into the pockets of the big record labels, funneling billions of dollars to companies based overseas."

"Although the big record labels have seen their revenues decline over the last decade, local radio broadcasters are not the reason the recording industry is losing money, and it should not be the industry to fix it."

Jennifer Bendall, Executive Director of musicFIRST:
"It's unfair, unjustified and un-American that artists and musicians are paid absolutely nothing when their recordings are played on AM and FM radio. Music is their work, their livelihood. They deserve fair pay for air play. Artists and musicians across America thank Senator Leahy, Representative Conyers and their colleagues for introducing bills that will close the corporate radio loophole."

"Every artist and musician from the biggest star to working class performers deserves to be paid when their performance, their work, is broadcast over the radio."

Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO of RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America):
"This legislation is about fairness and a level playing field, plain and simple. The arguments for this legislation have never been more compelling, the time never more ripe, and the level of support within the music community never more strong. Every one of the competitors of FM and AM radio pays artists and labels for the use of their music. Moreover, in these economically challenging times, we cannot ignore the millions of dollars that's left on the table when American music is played overseas."

"The reasonable concerns of small broadcasters have been addressed in this bill. Nonetheless, the National Association of Broadcasters continues to thumb its nose at Congress and refuse to come to the table in good faith. We commend Chairman Conyers, Chairman Leahy, and their colleagues for their outstanding leadership on this important bill."

David M. Israelite, President & CEO of NMPA (National Music Publishers’ Association):
"The National Music Publishers' Association has proposed a concept called, "One Music", urging the entire music community to be supportive of each other regarding the value of music. Therefore, we support the efforts of Chairman Leahy and Chairman Conyers in introducing this bill. We are pleased the bill introduced today includes some protections so songwriters are not harmed in the process of fairly compensating performers and record labels - a must for any such legislation.

"We will continue to work closely with lawmakers and our partners in the music industry as this legislation moves through the process to make sure songwriters are not adversely affected."

Tom Lee, President of AFM (American Federation of Musicians):
"The overwhelming majority of performers are not rich, but hardworking men and women trying to make a living. A source of income is being denied to these men and women by over-the-air AM/FM radio, which gets its advertising revenue and listeners from the popularity of their recorded music. The Performance Rights Act would give performers a fair recognition of the value their work brings to radio. A royalty payment of just a fraction of a cent per song would have a big impact on working musicians."

"On behalf of AFM and myself, I'd like to personally thank Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Conyers Jr. for introducing the Performance Rights Act bill and recognizing how important it is to ensure that performers get paid for their hard work," said Lee. "I now urge Congress to pass this measure as quickly as possible."

Related News from Mi2N:
» Performance Rights Act Introduced To Congress
» SoundExchange Welcomes Introduction Of The Performance Rights Act
» NAB Urges Congress To Oppose Record Label Bailout
» Bicameral, Bipartisan Bill Provides A Fair Performance Right On Radio
» RIAA Applauds Introduction Of New Performance Rights Legislation
» Statement From NMPA President And CEO David Israelite On Introduction Of Performance Rights Act In House And Senate
» The American Federation Of Musicians Of The United States And Canada Urges Immediate Passage Of The Performance Rights Act

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