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ICYMI: Music Creators Take on Broadcasters in Renewed Fight for Fair Pay

28 May 2020

Earlier this week, advocates for music creators appeared in a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staff briefing and urged Congress to recognize a terrestrial performance right for artists whose work is played on AM/FM radio and who are currently not compensated for it.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Ranking Member Chris Coons (D-DE) asked experts from across the music industry to weigh in on the lack of a terrestrial performance right in the United States and the impact that long-standing inequity has on artists and the radio industry. The witnesses amplifying the voice of music creators at the briefing were Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim CEO of the Recording Academy; Dr. Richard James Burgess, President and CEO of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM); and Colin Rushing, Chief Legal Officer for SoundExchange. Representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Salem Media also participated.

The Recording Academy, A2IM and SoundExchange—all members of the musicFIRST Coalition—encouraged Congress to adopt a fundamental principle in their work on music licensing policy – music creators deserve to be fairly compensated when their work is played on all platforms, including terrestrial AM/FM radio:

Harvey.png“The radio industry is celebrating its 100 anniversary this year. Can we all agree that a century is long enough for radio to join every other platform and every other country in paying fairly for the music that drives their business?”
Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim CEO of the Recording Academy



“I don’t know of another industry that’s forced by law to hand over its primary product with zero compensation so that another industry can profit from it.”Dr. Richard James Burgess, President and CEO of A2IM 


Colin.png“ Our industry has been fighting from the very beginning to have music paid for by the radio stations that use it. The consequence of the current legal regime is… the single biggest source of music listening in this country is not obligated to pay for that music at all.”Colin Rushing, Chief Legal Officer at SoundExchange

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