Northern Michigan’s U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-1)  joined the growing list of 127 bipartisan cosponsors of a House Resolution in support of the Local Radio Freedom Act on May 28.

Reps. Fred Upton (R-6), Tim Walberg (R-7) and Debbie Dingell (D-12) were among the act’s original cosponsors when the resolution was introduced on May 4.

For more than a decade, broadcasters have rallied allies in Congress to proactively take a stand against a performance right on over-the-air use of music. According to a recent report in InsideRadio, it is a strategy that has consistently proven successful and, unsurprisingly, has again begun to play out again in the 117th Congress.

The 2021 Local Radio Freedom Act mirrors the previous version by explicitly recognizing the “mutually beneficial relationship” between local radio and the recording industry, including the “free publicity and promotion” that performers receive and use to sell music and concert tickets. It also says that changing the law to create a new performance right for AM/FM would lead to thousands of local radio stations suffering “severe economic hardship” if any new fee is imposed. And rather than shy away from the fact that the resolution is not a new idea, it embraces its legacy: “For nearly a century, Congress has rejected repeated calls by the recording industry to impose a performance fee on local radio stations for simply playing music on the radio,” it says.

Upton, Walberg and Dingell have been among the cosponsors of similar House Resolutions in the past. They were joined in the 116th Congress by current Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-2) John R. Moolenaar (R-4).

The MAB appreciates Congressman Bergman’s support for local radio and encourages our northern radio members within his district to send him a note of thanks at Bergman.constituent@mail.house.gov.

 

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