Detroit City Councilwoman Martha Reeves, former lead singer of the Vandellas, will testify before an “awareness for fairness” town hall meeting convened by Rep. John Conyers Jr., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
The way I presented the bill to a lot of Congress people, I turned a couple of heads on it. Some of them didn’t know that everything else in radio is paid. Whether you talk, you walk, whatever you do, it’s paid -- except for the performers on disc.
Opponents claim Conyers’ bill would impose a “performance tax” on local radio stations. They accuse performance artists and record labels of being greedy ingrates:
In recent years, the record labels have seen sales of albums decline as more listeners opt for digital downloads. However, radio remains the number one promotional vehicle for music – it’s not responsible for the label’s resistance to the digital age, and it shouldn’t be on the hook to fix it. Radio already provides between $1.5 to $2.4 billion dollars annually in music sales for artists and record labels. By pushing a tax on local radio, record labels are biting the hand that feeds them.
Not so, says Fakir:
There has been misinformation, particularly in Detroit, coming from (Radio One CEO) Cathy Hughes, that this is some sort of tax. It’s not a tax, it’s something that’s long overdue.