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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2008
CONTACT
Dennis Wharton
202-429-5350
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NAB to RIAA: Let's Debate Artist 'Fairness'

WASHINGTON, DC – Upon learning that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will parade a handful of artists through Congress this week in support of legislation that would result in as much as a $7 billion annual tax on local radio stations, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:

"We welcome the debate over which side has been more 'fair' to artists -- radio stations or RIAA-member companies. America's hometown radio stations expose and promote musicians to 232 million listeners every week. Contrast that with decades-long exploitation of artists by foreign-owned record labels, demonstrated just this month in a $6 million lawsuit against Universal Music Group for 'cheating' artists like Count Basie and Benny Goodman out of royalties."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Music Greats Sue for Back Royalties

February 15, 2008

Some of the biggest names in American music or their estates are suing Universal Music Group Inc. for more than $6 million, claiming the company has been cheating them out of royalties for years.

The plaintiffs include Patti Page, and the estates of Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Benny Goodman and the Mills Brothers.

The lawsuit, filed late Thursday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, says Universal Music and one of its subsidiaries have "pervasively and systematically breached" agreements with the artists by using accounting tricks since at least 1998.

The lawsuit seeks at least $6.07 million plus attorneys' fees and punitive damages.

A representative at Universal Music said the authorized spokesman was traveling and not immediately available to comment.

This week hundreds of local radio broadcasters will be in Washington expressing their support for the Local Radio Freedom Act, introduced in late October by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX). The bill, House Concurrent Resolution 244, is now backed by 150 members of the House of Representatives.

"Congress should not impose 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," reads House Concurrent Resolution 244.

House co-sponsors include:

Aderholt, Robert (R-AL)
Alexander, Rodney (R-LA)
Akin, Todd (R-MO)
Arcuri, Mike (D-NY)
Bachus, Spencer (R-AL)
Baird, Brian (D-WA)
Barrett, Gresham (R-SC)
Barrow, John (D-GA)
Bartlett, Roscoe G. (R-MD)
Bean, Melissa (D-IL)
Berry, Marion (D-AR)
Bishop, Rob (R-UT)
Bishop, Sanford (D-GA)
Bonner, Jo (R-AL)
Boozman, John (R-AR)
Boswell, Leonard (D-IA)
Boyda, Nancy (D-KS)
Braley, Bruce (D-IA)
Broun, Paul (R-GA)
Brown, Henry (R-SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny (R-FL)
Burton, Dan (R-IN)
Calvert, Ken (R-CA)
Camp, Dave (R-MI)
Campbell, John (R-CA)
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)
Capuano, Michael (D-MA)
Cardoza, Dennis (D-CA)
Carnahan, Russ (D-MO)
Carter, John A. (R-TX)
Castle, Michael (R-DE)
Chabot, Steven (R-OH)
Clay, William Lacy (D-MO)
Cleaver, Emmanuel (D-MO)
Cole, Tom (R-OK)
Conaway, Mike (R-TX)
Cramer, Bud (D-AL)
Crenshaw, Ander (R-FL)
Cubin, Barbara (R-WY)
Cuellar, Henry (D-TX)
Davis, Geoff (R-KY)
Dent, Charles W. (R-PA)
Drake, Thelma D. (R-VA)
Donnelly, Joe (D-IN)
Edwards, Chet (D-TX)
Ellsworth, Brad (D-IN)
Emerson, Jo Ann (R-MO)
Everett, Terry (R-AL)
Foxx, Virginia (R-NC)
Franks, Trent (R-AZ)
Garrett, Scott (R-NJ)
Gerlach, Jim (R-PA)
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY)
Gingrey, Phil (R-GA)
Goode, Virgil H., Jr. (R-VA)
Granger, Kay (R-TX)
Graves, Sam (R-MO)
Green, Al (D-TX)
Green, Gene (D-TX)
Hall, Ralph (R-TX)
Hare, Phil (D-IL)
Hayes, Robin (R-NC)
Hoekstra, Pete (R-MI)
Holden, Tim (D-PA)
Hulshof, Kenny (R-MO)
Johnson, Eddie B. (D-TX)
Johnson, Sam (R-TX)
Johnson, Tim (R-IL)
Jones, Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH)
Jones, Walter B. (R-NC)
Jordan, Jim (R-OH)
Kagan, Steve (D-WI)
Kind, Ron (D-WI)
Kingston, Jack (R-GA)
Lampson, Nick (D-TX)
Larsen, Rick (D-WA)
Latham, Tom (R-IA)
LaTourette, Steve (R-OH)
Lewis, John (D-GA)
Lewis, Ron (R-KY)
Linder, John (R-GA)
LoBiondo, Frank (R-NJ)
Loebsack, Dave (D-IA)
Lucas, Frank D. (R-OK)
Manzullo, Donald A. (R-IL)
Matheson, Jim (D-UT)
Matsui, Doris (D-CA)
McCotter, Thaddeus G. (R-MI)
McHenry, Patrick T. (R-NC)
McHugh, John (R-NY)
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC)
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy (R-WA)
Mica, John (R-FL)
Michaud, Mike (D-ME)
Miller, Candice (R-MI)
Miller, Gary G. (R-CA)
Moore, Dennis (D-KS)
Moran, Jerry (R-KS)
Murphy, Chris (D-CT)
Musgrave, Marilyn N. (R-CO)
Myrick, Sue (R-NC)
Neugebauer, Randy (R-TX)
Nunes, Devin (R-CA)
Oberstar, James (D-MN)
Ortiz, Solomon (D-TX)
Pascrell, Bill, Jr. (D-NJ)
Paul, Ron (R-TX)
Pearce, Stevan (R-NM)
Pence, Mike (R-IN)
Petri, Tom (R-WI)
Poe, Ted (R-TX)
Pomeroy, Earl (D-ND)
Porter, Jon C. (R-NV)
Price, Tom (R-GA)
Rahall, Nick (D-WV)
Rangel, Charles B. (D-NY)
Ramstad, Jim (R-MN)
Rehberg, Dennis (R-MT)
Reyes, Silvestre (D-TX)
Rogers, Harold (R-KY)
Rogers, Mike D. (R-AL)
Rogers, Mike J. (R-MI)
Ross, Mike (D-AR)
Ruppersberger, Dutch (D-MD)
Ryan, Tim (D-OH)
Scott, David (D-GA)
Sessions, Pete (R-TX)
Shuler, Heath (D-NC)
Shuster, Bill (R-PA)
Simpson, Mike (R-ID)
Sires, Albio (D-NJ)
Souder, Mark E. (R-IN)
Space, Zack (D-OH)
Spratt, John (D-SC)
Stupak, Bart (D-MI)
Sullivan, John (R-OK)
Thompson, Mike (D-CA)
Tiahrt, Todd (R-KS)
Tiberi, Pat (R-OH)
Turner, Michael R. (R-OH)
Walberg, Tim (R-MI)
Walsh, Jim (R-NY)
Walden, Greg (R-OR)
Wamp, Zach (R-TN)
Westmoreland, Lynn (R-GA)
Whitfield, Ed (R-KY)
Wilson, Charlie (D-OH)
Wilson, Joe (R-SC)
Wynn, Al (D-MD)
Young, Don (R-AK)

On numerous occasions, both record label executives and artists have recognized the promotional value of free radio airplay. Such statements include:

"I have to thank... every DJ, every radio guy, every promotions guy, everybody who ever put up a poster for me and spread the word." --

Alicia Keys, recording artist and Grammy winner, 2008 Grammy Awards, February 2008

"[R]adio remains the best way to get new music into the listeners' lives."

--Sony BMG Executive VP Butch Waugh as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11

"[R]adio is the conduit to the people, the voice of the format and the lifestyle's soundtrack."

--Sony BMG Nashville VP of Marketing Tom Baldrica, as quoted in Radio & Records, January 11

"Obviously, radio is probably the most important thing for a new rock band coming out. If you don't get yourself on the radio, then you won't draw bodies at the clubs and you won't sell records."

-- 'Another Animal' drummer Shannon Larkin, Drum Magazine, 2008

"Country radio, thank you so much for being our mouthpiece. You know what we do means nothing if it never gets played, and no one gets to hear it."

-- 'Rascal Flatts,' Vocal Group of the Year, Country Music Awards, 2007

"I can't even believe that this is real... I want to thank country radio. I'll never forget the chance you took on me."

-- Taylor Swift, Horizon Award (for best new artist), Country Music Awards, 2007

"I have yet to see the big reaction you want to see to a hit until it goes on the radio. I'm a big, big fan of radio."

--Richard Palmese, Executive Vice President of Promotion, RCA, 2007

"Radio has proven itself time and time again to be the biggest vehicle to expose new music."

-- Ken Lane, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Island Def Jam Music Group, 2005

"It is clearly the number one way that we're getting our music exposed. Nothing else affects retail sales the way terrestrial radio does."

--Tom Biery, Senior Vice President for Promotion, Warner Bros. Records, 2005

"That's the most important thing for a label, getting your records played."

-- Eddie Daye, recording artist, 2003

"Radio helped me a lot. That's the audience. I can't see them, but I know they're there. I can't reach out and touch them with my hand, but I know they're there."

-- B.B. King, recording artist, 2002

"If a song's not on the radio, it'll never sell."

-- Mark Wright, Senior Vice President, MCA Records, 2001

"Air play is king. They play the record, it sells. If they don't, it's dead in the water."

-- Jim Mazza, President, Dreamcatcher Entertainment, 1999

"I am so grateful to radio. Their support has truly changed my life, and I hope they know how appreciative I am for that."

-- Jo Dee Messina, recording artist, 1999

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.

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