Tuesday 15 August 2023

U.S. Congressional Research Service Report on Public Performance Right in Sound Recordings

The U.S. Congressional Research Service has published a Report with a nice overview of the public performance right in sound recordings, including history as well as licensing rates and revenue trends.  Importantly, the Report reviews two pieces of related proposed legislation.  The Report, in part, states:

Two pieces of legislation introduced in the 118th Congress focus on public performance rights for sound recordings transmitted by broadcast radio. The first, a nonbinding resolution known as Supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA, H.Con.Res. 13 and S.Con.Res. 5), would effectively declare support for maintaining the status quo. LRFA would resolve that Congress should not impose any new performance royalty (or other fee, tax, or charge) for the public performance of sound recordings by a local radio station via over-the-air broadcast or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings via an over-the-air broadcast. The second, the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA, H.R. 791 and S. 253), would expand the public performance right for sound recordings to include any audio transmission, including broadcast radio transmissions. AMFA would subject performances by radio stations to the statutory license applicable to noninteractive digital services and place caps on royalties for broadcast stations with annual revenue under $1.5 million in the preceding year (unless owned by an entity with annual revenue over $10 million).

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