Dear Mr. Ratoza:
Thank you for contacting me about the Performance Rights Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue and apologize for the delay in my response.
As you know, the Performance Rights Act has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate, as H.R. 848 and S. 379 respectively. The bill has recently passed the House Committee on the Judiciary and awaits further action by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. This legislation amends federal copyright law to grant performers of sound recording equal rights to compensation from terrestrial broadcasters.
I share your concerns about the sustainability of the broadcasting industry. I have worked for years to ensure that there is a level playing field for all mediums of audio transmission, both traditional and new technologies. Unless this is accomplished, I remain hesitant to support a fee on broadcasters that could jeopardize the viability of radio stations. Should this legislation come up for a full vote in the Senate, I will certainly keep your views in mind.
Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of issues that are important to you. If I may be of further service, please do not hesitate to contact me.
United States Senator
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sen. Wyden Responds to Broadcast Radio Performance Right Royalty Issue
My blog post of August 7th deals with the ongoing Congressional proposal to require over-the-air radio stations to pay a performance rights royalty for broadcast music. A copy of that blog post was forwarded to Sen. Wyden, and his response follows: