A bill promoted by the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, which forces broadcasters to pay additional performance royalties, climbed its first hurdle yesterday by passing a House Judiciary Committee vote of 21 to 9. Variety’s Ted Johnson reports (via Hipsters United) that the Performance Rights Act’s next step will be a vote in the full House of Representatives, though it faces strong opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters (they like to call it a “performance tax”) and a group that held a protest in Detroit yesterday called “Save Black Radio.” The latter contends that the bill would create a disadvantage for stations owned by minorities and women.
In March, Billy Corgan dusted off his suit and tie to testify before the committee that shorting musicians of performance royalties just because they already received a songwriting royalty was an antiquated concept. “Whether we are talking about Motown, Stax, Elvis, or Howling Wolf,” he said, “when the public decides that a specific performance is worthy of their attention, then it seems only fitting that this little bit of magic as documented be recognized in the form of direct compensation for the artists and organizations that helped to create it.”
It looks like Corgan’s first attempt at having some Bono-esque political pull was a success. For more on yesterday’s vote, click here.