The End of Radio as We Know It?

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When you turn on a radio, you expect music to be there, but a bill before Congress might change that.

Opponents argue it's just fair business, but folks at one local said it's the end of radio as we know it.

Congress could soon force stations to pay a fee every time they play songs -- or pay to play. The recording industry heavily lobbied Congress to get the bill in front of the House and Senate. They want compensation from radio stations who make billions in sales by playing songs without paying artists and record labels.

To fight back, the National Association of Broadcasters lobbied for the Local Radio Freedom Act.

The fight is not only a split between party lines, but also by geography. The record company's bill is mostly supported by representatives in the Northeast and California. The Radio Stations' Act is supported by representatives mostly in the South and Midwest, including in West Virginia.

There's no word when the House or Senate will vote on the bills. Radio stations already compensate the writers and composers of music when it's played. An independent analyst estimates stations could pay between $2 billion to $7 billion in fees if the bill passes.

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