Broadcasters victorious as radio bill gains 219 sponsors

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A broadcaster-backed effort to keep local radio stations from paying musicians for songs has gained the support of more than half of the House of Representatives.

As some members push measures that would require AM/FM radio stations to pay for the songs they play, 219 members of the House have signed onto the Local Radio Freedom Act. That resolution -- introduced by Reps Michael Conway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) in early 2013 -- prohibits "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge” on local AM/FM radio stations.

The Senate companion resolution was introduced in 2013 by Sens John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); 12 other senators back it. Though AM/FM radio stations do not currently have to pay artists for songs the stations broadcast, some members of Congress are pushing bills that would require radio stations to pay these “royalty fees.”

According to the National Association of Broadcasters, the large number of supporters backing the Local Radio Freedom Act indicates that many in Congress agree that radio royalty fees aren’t needed.

Broadcasters victorious as radio bill gains 219 sponsors