The Campaign Begins

Further to this note about lobbying to change copyright’s public performance right:

Music Groups Increase Efforts for Performance Right
May 15, 2007

By Susan Butler, Billboard

NEW YORK — Artist and label groups stepped up their efforts on Capitol Hill to gain a performance right for over-the-air broadcasts of their recordings. A letter signed by seven groups went to 535 congressional offices on Friday, urging support for performers.

In the letter, the groups argued that “multibillion-dollar” corporate radio conglomerates have “received a free pass to play music over-the-air without compensating the artists.” They wrote that the U.S. is the only “free-market, democratic country that does not require radio stations to compensate performers when their songs are played over-the-air.” The groups want performers to be compensated for these performances.

The May 11 letter was signed by the American Assn. of Independent Music, the American Federation of Musicians, the Music Managers Forum, the Recording Academy, Recording Artists’ Coalition, the RIAA and SoundExchange.

The letter campaign follows one by the National Assn. of Broadcasters last week. NAB president/CEO David Rehr sent a letter on May 9 to every senator and representative, urging lawmakers to oppose any attempt to levy a “performance tax” on local radio broadcasters for music airplay.

Link:  http://tinyurl.com/2ypnav

Can anyone explain what is really going on here? It is difficult to imagine that in the 21st century, this fight is really and only about broadcast radio.