During a hearing conducted Tuesday by the House Intellectual Property Subcommittee, lawmakers signaled that they are considering changes to the current royalty system that would require broadcasters to pay performance royalties for music played on the radio, as Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) asserted that the growing problem of piracy via online and other formats has made it clear “that the status quo will no longer be acceptable.” Under the current compensation system that has been in place for decades, broadcasters must submit royalties to composers and to record labels but not to artists as is required for satellite radio, cable radio and webcasters. Charging that the extension of performance royalties to broadcasters would amount to a tax, ICBC Broadcast Holdings President Charles Warfield, on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters, observed that such a mandate would be “misguided,” as “broadcasters support the most lucrative and most successful recording industry in the world” with the airing of music that amounts to free advertising. Asserting that the current royalty system has enabled the U.S. music business to grow into “the most lucrative and successful recording industry in the world,” Warfield warned that smaller broadcasters are likely to be run out of business or to switch to nonmusic formats if they have to pay performance royalties to musicians. Pointing out, however, that broadcasters in other countries are required to pay performance royalties, Marybeth Peters, the Registrar of Copyrights, recommended that Congress impose the same requirement through “carefully structured legislation” that would minimize any harmful effects to U.S. broadcasters.