September 30, 2010
Danielle Deabler, NPR



NPR expresses its support of the Public Radio Music Enhancement Act of 2010, H.R. 6307, introduced yesterday by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will improve the audience experience provided by public radio music stations in communities across America by easing restrictions on public radio stations' music streams imposed by the performance complement.

"My legislation offers a narrow fix that has broad implications for the music-loving public in my home state of Wisconsin and across the country," said Congresswoman Baldwin. "I look forward to working with NPR to further enhance its programming and better serve its listeners," Baldwin said.

"We are enormously grateful for Congresswoman Baldwin's leadership on this issue. Music is a critical element of public radio’s community service, connecting audiences with the performers, songwriters, musicians, lyricists and composers who enhance their lives. Congresswoman Baldwin's common-sense legislation would allow public radio to improve that service and enhance audience enjoyment in the digital age," said Vivian Schiller, NPR’s president and CEO.

Included as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, the performance complement arbitrarily limits the number of times stations can stream songs online from the same artist, album or compilation within a 3-hour period. In effect, this prevents public radio stations—some of the last free sources of music in quintessential genres like classical, jazz and folk—from streaming symphonies in their entirety, promoting local and emerging artists, or properly educating their listeners about the lives and careers of American musical masters.

"We look forward to working with Congresswoman Baldwin on this important legislation as the process moves forward," Schiller concluded.