February 15, 2017
Don’t let the name fool you – the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) is not what it seems.
It’s not about local radio or freedom. It’s about big profits and preserving a government subsidy for the biggest members of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the radio industry’s super-rich lobbying group.
Every year, the NAB floods the halls of Congress looking for support for this misnamed resolution. We need to call LRFA what it really is – a brazen attempt by Big Radio to avoid paying music creators the performance royalties they deserve. We call it the Big Radio Subsidy Act.
It is up to us – music creators and music fans alike – to stand together against this anti-artist resolution by reaching out to Congress and voicing our opposition to this resolution.
The NAB and their allies in Congress falsely claim that “many thousands of local radio stations” will “suffer severe economic hardship” if they have to pay for the music that represents the foundation of their business. The truth is that small, non-profit, religious, college and public radio stations have always been protected with the inclusion of major exemptions every time a terrestrial performance rights bill has been introduced in Congress.
All music platforms – internet, satellite and cable radio – pay royalties to music creators, except terrestrial (AM/FM) radio. On average, terrestrial radio brings in more than $14.5 billion in advertising dollars each year while maintaining an average operating margin over 30 percent. Yet they refuse to pay anything to music creators for the music they play.
Instead, they choose to spend part of what should have been royalty payments to artists – $17.4 million in 2015 alone – lobbying against a performance right for sound recordings that would ensure music creators get paid fairly for their work.
While we will never be able to match what the NAB spends on lobbying, we can use the power of our voices to fight back.
Take action today. Urge Congress to support music creators by establishing an actual “mutually beneficial relationship” between creators and terrestrial radio.
Click here to ask your representative to reject H.Con.Res.13 and your senator to reject S.Con.Res.6 – the Local Radio Freedom Act.