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Statement From MusicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel on Introduction of Pre-72 Legislation in the US House of Representatives

20 July 2017

Washington, D.C. (July 19, 2017) – musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel issued the following statement today on the Introduction of the the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL):

“Recordings made before the arbitrary date of February 15, 1972, are among the most popular and valuable in the world. And yet, because of an anomaly in U.S. copyright law, the creators of those sound recordings have had to endure years of litigation simply for the right to be paid, and the litigation continues to this day. It’s time for Congress to fix this injustice so legacy artists are paid when their music is used by digital radio.

“Today’s introduction represents progress on the pre-72 issue and the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. Establishing equal treatment for pre-72 sound recordings, together with establishing an AM/FM performance right and applying the free market “willing buyer, willing seller” standard across all platforms as called for in their Fair Play Fair Pay Act, will ensure that all artists from all generations receive fair market value for their work. We’re hopeful that the U.S. Congress will seize on the bipartisan support for music creators and enact the tenets of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act this session.

“The musicFIRST coalition thanks Chairman Issa, Ranking Member Nadler and the bipartisan co-sponsors of this legislation for their unwavering support for music creators whether they be “legacy” artists, those performing today or those yet to be discovered.”

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