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February 24, 2009

Anti-Performance Tax Resolution Gains 16 New Co-Sponsors

--Momentum for Resolution Builds as Country Star John Rich Thanks Detroit Radio Station--

--NAB Responds to RIAA 'Hypocrisy'--

VIDEO: 'Big & Rich' Country star John Rich praises WYCD-FM Detroit during a concert last week.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Sixteen additional lawmakers have signed-on to a bipartisan House resolution opposing the introduction of "any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charge" on local radio stations. The growing chorus of support for The Local Radio Freedom Act now stands at 126 and comes on the heels of recent comments made by Country star John Rich who praised WYCD-FM Detroit for helping change the course of his career.

Speaking on stage during the station's "Ten Man Jam" concert last week, Rich, who makes up half the famed Country duo 'Big & Rich,' credited the local radio station for helping his career. "Let me tell you four letters that mean a whole lot to me," Rich told the crowd of fans. "Four letters that have changed the course of my career. Four letters out of 26. W-Y-C-D."

The Local Radio Freedom Act, unveiled earlier this month at a Capitol Hill event hosted by the Free Radio Alliance, was introduced by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Mike Conaway (R-TX).

"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 H. Con. Res 49.

The House resolution counters legislation supported by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which would require local radio stations to pay a new fee for music aired free to listeners. The musicFIRST Coalition, an organization backed by RIAA, is seeking support for the RIAA-backed legislation this week and hosting an event on Capitol Hill today boasting the participation of several performing artists.

Commenting on the musicFIRST event, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, "NAB welcomes an honest debate over whether radio stations or the record labels have historically been a 'better friend' to musicians. Since the days of Count Basie, there have been two constants in music: free radio airplay has propelled the financial success of countless performers, and those same artists have been systematically abused by the labels. For RIAA to now use artists as a shield in their quest for a performance tax is utterly cynical and hypocritical."

Wharton noted that in addition to the estates of Count Basie and Benny Goodman, numerous other artists have filed lawsuits against their record labels in recent years, including the Beatles, Travis Tritt, James Blunt and the Allman Brothers.

Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Bruce Braley (D-IA), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Al Green (D-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), Tom Petri (R-WI), Todd Platts (R-PA), Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), Peter Roskam (R-IL), David Scott (D-GA), John Shimkus (R-IL), and Greg Walden (R-OR) have all added their support to H. Con. Res. 49, The Local Radio Freedom Act. Support in the House now stands at 126 members, including:

Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
Todd Akin (MO-2)
Rodney Alexander (LA-5)
Jason Altmire (PA-4)
Mike Arcuri (NY-24)
Steve Austria (OH-7)
Michele Bachmann (MN-6)
Spencer Bachus (AL-6)
Gresham Barrett (SC-3)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Melissa Bean (IL-8)
Marion Berry (AR-1)
Judy Biggert (IL-13)
Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
Roy Blunt (MO-7)
Jo Bonner (AL-1)
John Boozman (AR-3)
Leonard Boswell (IA-3)
Charles Boustany (LA-7)
Allen Boyd (FL-2)
Kevin Brady (TX-8)
Bruce Braley (IA-1)
Bobby Bright (AL-2)
Henry Brown (SC-1)
Ginny Brown-Waite (FL-5)
Michael Burgess (TX-26)
Dan Burton (IN-5)
Shelly Moore Capito (WV-2)
Mike Capuano (MA-8)
John Carter (TX-31)
William Lacy Clay (MO-1)
Tom Cole (OK-4)
Mike Conaway (TX-11)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Culberson (TX-7)
Geoff Davis (KY-4)
Lincoln Davis (TN-4)
Charles Dent (PA-15)
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21)
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)
Norm Dicks (WA-6)
Chet Edwards (TX-17)

Vernon Ehlers (MI-3)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-8)
John Fleming (LA-4)
Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1)
Virginia Foxx (NC-5)
Jim Gerlach (PA-6)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Kay Granger (TX-12)
Sam Graves (MO-6)
Al Green (TX-9)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Parker Griffith (AL-5)
Brett Guthrie (KY-2)
Ralph Hall (TX-4)
Phil Hare (IL-17)
Doc Hastings (WA-4)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL)
Baron Hill (IN-9)
Pete Hoekstra (MI-2)
Duncan Hunter (CA-52)
Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Walter Jones (NC-3)
Jim Jordan (OH-4)
John Kline (MN-2)
Rick Larsen (WA-2)
Steve LaTourette (OH-14)
Robert Latta (OH-5)
Chris Lee (NY-26)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2)
Dave Loebsack (IA-2)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Don Manzullo (IL-16)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
Michael McCaul (TX-10)
Tom McClintock (CA-4)
Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
John McHugh (NY-23)
Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA-5)
Michael Michaud (ME-2)

Candice Miller (MI-10)
Gary Miller (CA-42)
Jeff Miller (FL-1)
Harry Mitchell (AZ-5)
Jerry Moran (KS-1)
Sue Myrick (NC-9)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)
Devin Nunes (CA-21)
Frank Pallone (NJ-6)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)
Tom Petri (WI-6)
Joe Pitts (PA-16)
Todd Platts (PA-19)
Ted Poe (TX-2)
Tom Price (GA-6)
Nick Rahall (WV-3)
Dennis Rehberg (MT-AL)
Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
Mike Rogers (AL-3)
Peter Roskam (IL-6)
Mike Ross (AR-4)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)
David Scott (GA-13)
Pete Sessions (TX-32)
John Shimkus (IL-19)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)
Heath Shuler (NC-11)
Bill Shuster (PA-9)
Mike Simpson (ID-2)
Mark Souder (IN-3)
John Spratt (SC-5)
Bart Stupak (MI-1)
John Sullivan (OK-1)
Lee Terry (NE-2)
Mike Thompson (CA-1)
Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
Todd Tiahrt (KS-4)
Pat Tiberi (OH-12)
Mike Turner (OH-3)
Greg Walden (OR-2)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-3)
Joe Wilson (SC-2)

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