The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property today approved the Performance Rights Act (H.R. 4789). While considering the bill, several members commented on further additions that may be considered including a “platform parity” amendment that would extend the legislation to digital broadcasting.
If enacted the Performance Rights Act amends federal copyright law to:
(1) grant performers of sound recordings equal rights to songwriters to compensation from terrestrial broadcasters;
(2) establish a flat annual fee in lieu of payment of royalties for individual terrestrial broadcast stations with gross revenues of less than $1.25 million and for non-commercial, public broadcast stations;
(3) grant an exemption from royalty payments for broadcasts of religious services and for incidental uses of musical sound recordings
Jonathan Potter of the Digital Media Association said, "We were pleased to hear Chairman Berman, Rep. Lofgren and Rep. Jackson Lee suggest that the Performance Rights Act may be broadened, so that in its final form it will not simply address broadcast radio royalties, but rather may ensure that all radio technologies – broadcast, cable, satellite and Internet – are treated equally under the law.”