WASHINGTON, DC — NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton released a statement today in response to the introduction of legislation requiring America’s hometown broadcasters to compensate the foreign-owned record labels for radio airplay of music. The House version of the bill was introduced by Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Darrell Issa (R-CA). Companion legislation was offered in the Senate by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

Countering today’s legislation is House Concurrent Resolution 244, introduced in late October, which states, “Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge relating to the public performance of sound recordings on a local radio station for broadcasting sound recordings over-the-air, or on any business for such public performance of sound recordings.” To date, the resolution has garnered the support of 119 members of the House of Representatives.

“After decades of Ebenezer Scrooge-like exploitation of countless artists, RIAA and the foreign-owned record labels are singing a new holiday jingle to offset their failing business model,” said Wharton. “NAB will aggressively oppose this brazen attempt to force America’s hometown radio stations to subsidize companies that have profited enormously through the free promotion provided by radio airplay.”