Comment On The House Subcommittee Markup Of Performance Rights Legislation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), reacted today to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property’s markup of legislation to recognize the rights of musical performers.  Last year, Leahy introduced legislation to end an exemption benefiting traditional, over-the-air broadcasters and to ensure that performing artists are compensated when their sound recordings are played on the radio.  Representative Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who chairs the House subcommittee, introduced companion legislation.  In November, Leahy chaired a hearing on the legislation in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Berman chaired a hearing in the House earlier this month.

“Members of the House Judiciary Committee today took the first steps in moving forward legislation to provide fair performance rights to artists.  Since I joined with Senator Hatch and our friends in the House last year to introduce performance rights legislation, I have heard from both performers and local radio stations about this legislation.  The House Subcommittee’s mark today has continued the debate on how best to protect the rights of performers and songwriters, and the needs of noncommercial and small commercial radio stations, like many stations in Vermont.  I hope the Judiciary Committee might be able to turn its attention to this issue before the end of the year.”

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