In a markup session, the House Judiciary Committee has given its approval to a bill that implement a sound recording performance royalty on over-the-air broadcasting, the American Music Fairness Act. If the bipartisan bill were to go through, artists, performers, producers and musicians involved in creating songs would receive royalties when their music plays on U.S. terrestrial radio stations, just as songwriters already do.
The U.S. is the only major country in the world where terrestrial radio is not required by law to pay royalties to performers or recorded-music copyright owners of the songs played on-air. Streaming services and SiriusXM satellite radio already do pay such performance royalties.
Tag: Fair Play Fair Pay
@joecrowleyNY Joins @MusicFIRST to Fight for Fairness on Radio for Artists
@mikehuppe: Broadcast Radio Makes an Ironic Plea for Fairness
SoundExchange’s CEO says it’s time radio starts paying all music creators fairly for their work.
On Monday, a group of radio broadcasters penned a letter in support of the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) push for deregulation of the $14 billion radio industry. Their letter was based on the NAB’s petition to the FCC this past June, in which the NAB sought to allow expanded broadcaster ownership of radio stations (i.e., increased consolidation) throughout the country. The NAB’s justification: broadcasters must adjust their business model to the realities of the new streaming world.
As a representative of the many creative parties who help craft music, we are frequently on the opposite side of issues from the NAB. And while I can’t comment on NAB’s specific requests, I was delighted to find so much common ground in their FCC filing in June….
I agree with the NAB that the law should “finally adopt rules reflecting competitive reality in today’s audio marketplace” and should “level the playing field” for all entities in the music economy.
If radio truly wants to modernize, it can start by taking a giant leap into the 21st century and paying all music creators fairly for their work. Stop treating artists like 17th century indentured servants, just so radio can reap bigger profits. If radio wants to have rules that reflect the music industry of today, then that should apply across the board.
We should resolve this gaping unfairness to artists before we begin talking about allowing radio to consolidate even further.
Nile Rogers: Music makers to Congress: We are family
Last month, 200 music creators gathered outside The Capitol for a song and demonstration asking for fair pay. Kathy Sledge led the group, singing the 1979 hit “We are Family,” a song I had the privilege to co-write and produce for Sister Sledge. At the time, it seemed like just a fun conclusion to GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day.
But given recent developments in Congress, “We are Family” now feels like a policy statement.
@repjerrynadler: Copyright law should play fair and pay artists for radio play
Terrestrial radio gets a free ride and an advantage over its digital competitors. Performing artists, background musicians and other rights holders of sound recordings receive absolutely no compensation when their music is played over the air on AM/FM radio. The bottom line is that terrestrial radio profits from the intellectual property of recording artists for free. Almost every other country compensates performing artists for radio play. The shortlist of countries that don’t includes Iran, North Korea and the United States. It is a disgrace that needs to be remedied, and it is well past time that we align ourselves with the rest of the free world.
That is why there is growing support for the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, legislation I introduced with my colleague, Vice Chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Marsha Blackburn(R-Tenn.), to create a uniform system where radio services compete on a level playing field, and all performing artists are fairly compensated.