Yesterday's Hearing on the Performance Rights


musicFIRST Public Affairs Director, Kate Marshall contacted me yesterday to give you an update about the recent Senate hearing about the performance right.

Senators Specter, Hatch and Leahy all agreed that the performance right issue is important and that something needs to be done about it. Throughout the hearing, the common theme was fairness. (If you’re interested, you can listen to both Lyle Lovett and Alice Peacock’s testimonies.) Alice Peacock’s analogy illustrated the issue perfectly:

Frankly, the promotion argument sounds a little silly. Last week I bought a pair of Nike shoes. I wear them everywhere—well, except to Senate hearings. With the Nike logo on my feet, I am probably promoting their brand wherever I go. Can you imagine if I decided not to pay for the shoes on the grounds that my promoting Nike should excuse me from payment? My refusal to pay would be called “shoplifting.” But radio’s refusal to pay artists is called “business as usual.”