Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Student Broadcasters Write Congress to Oppose Radio Legislation

I've written previously about the Performance Rights Act and how it might impact college radio. Well, there's been more activity from broadcasters in response to this, mainly in reaction to proposed fees and changes to radio station record-keeping procedures. Last week a letter was sent to the members of Congress that was signed by more than 80 student radio stations (both college and high school) in opposition to proposed legislation.

An article on the College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) website states:

"Colleges and high schools from across the country joined together to oppose federal legislation that would impose a fee on radio stations that play music, including on tuition and fee-supported, student operated, noncommercial radio. In a letter to members of Congress delivered earlier today under the banner of the Free Radio Alliance and the College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI), faculty, staff, and students from more than 80 stations...argued that 'other serious threats' would result from the passage of the performance fee...

College Broadcasters Inc. President Warren Kozireski says that the performance tax legislation has hidden costs that would jeopardize many stations ability to continue to exist. 'The record labels are completely out of touch as to how college radio stations operate. The extensive recordkeeping requirements that will be required by the Copyright Royalty Board alone will add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to the true cost of a performance fee,' said Kozireski. 'As families across the country continue to struggle to find ways to pay for school and as education budgets get tighter and tighter, the concept of a performance fee is outrageous - all to benefit foreign-owned record conglomerates at the expense of our students.'"

I have to agree, especially in this economic climate, college radio stations are not equipped to take on even more complex recordkeeping practices.

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