• American Music Fairness Act, Pro-Performance Royalty Bill, Introduced In Senate

    by Perry Michael Simon
    September 22, 2022 at 9:49 AM (PT)
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    Bill Introduced In Senate

    The American Music Fairness Act, introduced in the HOUSE by Rep. TED DEUTCH (D-FL) and DARRELL ISSA (R-CA) late in 2021, has been introduced in the SENATE, where Sens. ALEX PADILLA (D-CA) and MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN) are co-sponsors of the bill, which would impose a performance royalty on AM and FM broadcasters and is endorsed by the RECORDING ACADEMY, musicFIRST, the RIAA, SAG-AFTRA, A2IM, and the AFL-CIO. The bill stands in opposition to the Local Radio Freedom Act, the anti-performance royalty bill also making its way through CONGRESS.

    NAB Pres./CEO CURTIS LEGEYT reiterated his organization's opposition to the bill, issuing a statement saying, "NAB remains steadfastly opposed to the AMFA, which disregards the value of radio and would undermine our critical public service to line the pockets of multinational billion-dollar record labels.

    "NAB thanks the 250 bipartisan members of CONGRESS, including 28 senators and a majority of the HOUSE, who instead support the Local Radio Freedom Act, which recognizes the unique benefits that radio provides to communities across the country and opposes inflicting a new performance fee on local broadcast radio stations. We are committed to working with lawmakers to find a mutually beneficial solution to this decades-old policy disagreement, but this one-sided AMFA proposal is not the answer. We urge the recording industry to return to the negotiating table in an effort to find common ground."

    "The American Music Fairness Act is a necessary and overdue step towards bringing the music industry into the 21st century," said SOUNDEXCHANGE Pres./CEO MICHAEL HUPPE. "It ends decades of injustice of denying music creators payment for their work on AM/FM radio and levels the playing field between traditional broadcasts and streaming platforms. This is a common-sense blueprint for a healthier and fairer music industry, and we strongly support its passage on behalf of our 570,000 creator community."

    "Music creators spend years, even decades, perfecting their craft and inspiring their listeners. The very least we should do in return is pay them for their work. They are our family, our friends, our neighbors," added HUPPE. "They are simply asking for a rightful share of the $10 billion broadcasters earn by playing their music on AM/FM radio."

    “The American Music Fairness Act is gaining momentum on CAPITOL HILL, and we look forward to progress in the months ahead. Big Radio has used an antiquated loophole to deny payments to artists for decades, but with the help of Senator BLACKBURN, Senator PADILLA and other allies in CONGRESS, this is the year we will finally end this injustice,” said musicFIRST Chairman JOE CROWLEY. “Senators BLACKBURN and PADILLA have the appreciation and respect of the music industry for leading the fight on behalf of the thousands of American artists and creators who deserve to be paid fairly when their work is played on AM/FM radio.”

    “Music creators have been fighting this battle for decades, so the introduction of the American Music Fairness Act in the SENATE is an important step forward in the fight to ensure artists are paid when their music is played on broadcast radio,” said RECORDING ACADEMY CEO HARVEY MASON JR. “It’s time for artists to be compensated for their creative work that keeps AM/FM radio thriving. We’re thankful to our many Academy members for their continued advocacy, and to Senators PADILLA and BLACKBURN for hearing our collective voice and pushing this legislation forward. We’re hopeful that we’re nearing the finish line to end this inequity that has disadvantaged music people for far too long.”

    "The introduction of AMFA in the SENATE is an important step forward for music artists' rights," said SAG-AFTRA Pres. FRAN DRESCHER. "I am grateful to Senator PADILLA and Senator BLACKBURN and implore every Congressional member to support AMFA and close up the loophole that allows businesses to exploit workers without pay. Broadcast companies profit from advertising sales because of the creative content musicians and singers record. It stands to reason that the performers who create the content deserve to be compensated just as songwriters are now. The reason it’s called the American Music Fairness Act is because the current situation is wholly unfair and it’s up to CONGRESS to make it fair NOW!"

    “By introducing the American Music Fairness Act today, Senators PADILLA and BLACKBURN are standing on the side of musicians and small independent record labels who for too long have seen enormous national radio conglomerates make billions of dollars without paying a cent for the sound recordings that draw in their listeners," said A2IM Pres./CEO Dr. RICHARD JAMES BURGESS. "That’s just not fair, and the status quo should be an insult to all content creators, including broadcasters themselves. The bill has the most generous exception ever for truly small community broadcasters, so the time is now to enact it into law."

    "For far too long, our broken and unfair system has let AM/FM radio stations -- many of which are owned by just a few massive media corporations -- get away with refusing to pay artists when they play their music. While these big corporate broadcast companies gobble up billions upon billions in advertising dollars, the session and background musicians, whose work make all of it possible, receive no compensation whatsoever for their creations. It’s time to right this wrong, and the American Music Fairness Act aims to do just that,” said AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS International Pres. RAY HAIR. “It's vital that CONGRESS protects the livelihoods of those who create the music we know and love. We commend Senator BLACKBURN, Senator PADILLA and our other allies in CONGRESS for championing this cause.”

    “The American Music Fairness Act takes a smart, calibrated approach towards solving a decades old problem in the radio industry,” said RIAA Chairman/CEO MITCH GLAZIER. “It will finally ensure that recording artists and copyright owners are paid fairly for their work regardless of the technology used to broadcast it while carefully protecting small and noncommercial stations to preserve truly local radio our communities depend upon.”

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