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FMRA

RADIO RESPONSE: Today, while Congress was threatening to shut down the government unless the President wore granny panties on the White House lawn, Congressman Mel Watt (D-NC) actually introduced a piece of legislation you might find relevant. The Free Market Royalty Act (FMRA) would put terrestrial radio on the hook for performance royalties, just like streaming radio and other new media. Rep. Watt says direct deals like the recent pact between Clear Channel and Warner Music don't cut the mustard, as they don't "ensure fair compensation to artists" and don't amend a glaring international trade imbalance (foreign performance-rights monies now denied U.S. artists due to lack of reciprocity). You'll be absolutely shocked to learn that digital boosters like The Future of Music Coalition like the idea of the FMRA, while the NAB says it's a non-starter. Stay tuned. (9/30p)

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