A Deal to End D.C.’s Radio and Recording Duel

After years of vehement opposition to paying performers for songs played
over the air, broadcasters’ potential turnabout comes down to a matter
of political realities.

Gordon Smith, the president of the National Assn. of Broadcasters, says the lobby faced a “very dangerous situation” this fall, as Democratic lawmakers were under pressure to take action, perhaps in the lame duck session.

But it may not make any difference whether the GOP gains control of one or both chambers.

“Among my former Republican colleagues,” Smith told NAB members last week, “the notion of
property rights is very appealing to them… If our music friends, the
performers, can say that we have a right that is uncompensated, that has
some currency among Republicans.”

My story on the possible resolution of the Performance Rights Act is here.

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