(Washington, D.C.) Ted Kalo, Executive Director of the musicFIRST Coalition, released the following statement in support of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015 introduced today by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, and Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Thanks to Reps. Nadler and Blackburn, we stand at the doorway of an incredible opportunity – a once-in-a-generation chance to make radio work better for music creators, radio services, and, most importantly, music fans.
“It is time for Congress to update music licensing laws. AM/FM radio, satellite radio and Internet radio exist side by side in car dashboards and compete for the same listeners. But whether performers and copyright owners are paid, and how much, depends solely on what button you press or app you choose. On Internet radio, it is one rate. On satellite, it is a different, lower rate. And on AM/FM, there is no rate at all – music creators get paid nothing. I think that we can all agree that makes no sense.
“Now, some digital services are claiming they don’t have to pay for pre-72 recordings. Several court decisions have already dismissed this absurd claim.
“The solution: all radio services should pay under the same ‘fair market value’ royalty standard for all of the music they play. Like everyone else who works, creates, or innovates, music creators deserve fair pay for their work.
“It’s a question of basic economic fairness, but it is also a matter of fair competition between music services. No more special privileges for old technologies. No more giveaways. No more special interest exemptions and subsidies. No more picking winners and losers among radio platforms. Let the best services win – fair and square, on the depth of their playlists and the quality of their products.
“Fair market value for music will encourage creativity by music creators. It will promote innovation among music services. And – most importantly – it will give fans the best music they have ever heard – delivered in the most exciting ways they could ever imagine.”
musicFIRST works to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all music platforms. We rally people and organizations who make and love music to end the broken status quo that allows AM/FM to use any song ever recorded without paying its performers a dime. And to stand up for fair pay on digital radio – and whatever comes next.