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NAB Taken To Task For Calling Proposed Royalties A Tax

WASHINGTON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Musicians have taken exception to the National Association of Broadcaster's description of radio performance royalty payments being sought by the recording industry as a "tax."

The radio performance royalties are paid any time a song is broadcast on commercial radio and the recording industry is seeking to expand those payments, which are currently paid only to songwriters and and publishers, to musicians as well.

"Mr. Rehr and representatives of the NAB have been publicly calling the payment of fair royalties to hard-working musicians a 'tax' in an effort to confuse members of Congress and others," the Music First coalition said Monday. "The dictionary sent to Mr. Rehr defines tax as 'a contribution for the support of a government required of persons, groups or businesses within the domain of that government.'"

Unsurprisingly, the NAB has a different viewpoint. According to Variety, NAB EVP Dennis Wharton responded by stating "Radio broadcasters currently pay nearly $500 million a year to songwriters and music publishers. Now, in an effort to bail out a failing business model, the Recording Industry Assn. of America is seeking a tax on local radio to the tune of billions of dollars."

"It is undeniable that free airplay of music on America's hometown radio stations generates millions of dollars in annual revenue for both artists and the foreign-owned record labels. This proposed massive transference of wealth into the legal coffers of RIAA to fund more litigation against college kids and grandmothers would be unfair, unwise and unwarranted" Wharton added. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers