House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have joined the ranks of supporters of the Performance Rights Act, which would ensure that artists, musicians and rights holders are compensated when their music is played on broadcast radio stations.
Currently, AM and FM radio stations don’t pay royalties to performers, which go to music writers and publishers. Opponents of the bill argue it could hurt smaller radio stations and cause further loss of employment in the industry.
The Obama Administration as well as the NAACP, former House majority leader Dick Armey and the Progress and Freedom Foundation, among others, have vocalized support for the Performance Rights Act.
But broadcasters vigorously oppose the legislation. They point to a non-binding resolution supported by 260 House members and 27 Senators calling for no new performance fees.