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Congress Shows Music Creators Some Love

27 April 2017

We don’t see a lot of bipartisanship coming out of Washington, D.C. these days, but when it does happen, we know it’s because an issue truly matters. Over the past two weeks, members from both parties have come together to show their support for music creators and the hard work that they do.

The Fair Play Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1836), introduced by Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Conyers (D-MI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Tom Rooney (R-FL) on March 30, aims to restore a core American principle of fairness to music: People who work should be paid for their efforts, particularly when others are making a profit from it. Under the legislation, all forms of radio, regardless of the technology or platform used, would pay a fair market rate for music performances. The legislation would also restore fairness for artists whose songs were written before 1972 and end satellite radio’s special “grandfathered,” or below market rate.

Less than a week later, Represenatives Issa (R-CA) and Deutch (D-FL) came together again to introduce another bill that would empower creators by giving them a choice regarding whether AM/FM radio can play their music. The Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act of 2017 (PROMOTE Act), H.R. 1914, would give creators the power to opt out of having their music played on terrestrial radio until they are fairly compensated. Big radio has long said that the “promotional value” it provides should offset any need to compensate artists. The PROMOTE Act empowers music creators, not radio executives to make that determination.

Both of these bills are important strides forward in restoring a core American principle of fairness to music: People who work should be paid for the work they do, particularly when others are making a profit off it.

Like Reps. Nadler, Blackburn, Conyers, Deutch Issa and Rooney, we recognize that music has value and music creators play a huge role in advancing our uniquely American culture. It’s time that our laws reflect the contribution these artists make to our daily lives and the global economy.

We’re closer than ever before to finally achieving copyright reform that establishes fair market pay for all music creators and technology-neutral rules for music services. We are incredibly grateful for the leadership these Members of Congress have shown in introducing these bills, but to make this happen, your elected officials need to hear from you. Please visit the advocacy center on this site and take a minute to contact your representatives in Washington to tell them to support the Fair Play Fair Pay Act and the PROMOTE Act.

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