Nevada musicians Monday protested outside a National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. They were trying to draw attention to the fact that internet radio, satellite radio and cable TV radio pay royalties for the music they play, but AM/FM radio does not (“TV ads distort issue,” RN&R, Feb. 25).
The rally began four days of such protests and featured an inflatable pig (“piggy radio”) outside the Las Vegas Convention Center where the show is being held. Supremes singer Mary Wilson and cast members of Jersey Boys participated. The event was sponsored by the Nevada State AFL-CIO and American Federation of Musicians Local 369.
Earlier this month the Obama administration gave its support to congressional “pay to play” legislation pending in Congress that would extend royalty obligations to ground radio stations that have previously been exempt. Enactment of the legislation would be a rare defeat for the broadcasting lobby. Members of Congress are normally reluctant to cross the broadcasters out of fear that they will use their radio and television stations against incumbents. A majority of House members and a quarter of senators have co-sponsored the legislation.