WASHINGTON, D.C. — The quarrel between content creators and broadcasting platforms doesn’t just exist online; it also includes traditional AM/FM radio stations.
Federal lawmakers on both sides of the issue are continuing what has been a decades-long debate over whether AM/FM radio stations should pay royalties to the artists they play over the airwaves.
Terrestrial radio stations, which broadcast over AM/FM frequencies, currently only pay royalties to songwriters and publishers, while digital radio stations—satellite radio, Internet radio and cable radio—are legally required to also pay royalties to the performing artist.
But 170 members of the House and Senate have sided with broadcasters in voicing their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act.
Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, introduced the bill in the House, which states that it would keep Congress from imposing “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.“
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., introduced the companion bill in the Senate.