"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Ex “Singing Senator” Lobbies Against Recording Artists

November 13th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

By Andrew Glass

Lyle Lovett wants to get paid for music he made famous with his bluesy twang. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is giving him a stage to make it happen.

Leahy is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday to review a nearly century-old law saying radio stations don’t have to give the four-time Grammy winner a dime when they play music he performed that was written by someone else.

Record companies have already made websites and satellite and cable stations pay up. The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 took care of that.

But the extra income stream hasn’t stemmed the pain in an industry whose revenues fell last year to $11.5 billion, down from a 1999 peak of $17.6 billion in constant dollars.

Local broadcasters are fighting to avoid the same fate, telling their representatives in Congress that they might be forced to switch to an all-talk format, or even shut down, if lawmakers add to their costs to play music.

In the 2006 election-year cycle, the National Association of Broadcasters, contributed $924,000 through its political action committee, 57 percent to Republicans and 42 percent to Democrats. In the 2008 cycle, the PAC has given more of its $253,000 in contributions to date to Democrats.

The Ashcroft Group lobbies for the NAB. Its principals include former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former vice presidential spokeswoman Juleanna Glover Weiss. Read more…

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