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musicFIRST Acknowledges February 15th and 46 Years of Injustice Towards America’s Music Pioneers

15 February 2018

Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2018) – The musicFIRST Coalition released the following statement from Executive Director Chris Israel today marking the 46th anniversary of a loophole in federal copyright law that prevents artists who recorded their work before February 15, 1972 from being paid when their work is played on SiriusXM and digital streaming services.

Today’s anniversary comes one day after more than 210 music creators called on Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act. Mary Wilson of the legendary group The Supremes and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love took the same message to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and joined Reps. Jerry Nadler, Darrell Issa and Hank Johnson to rally support for comprehensive music legislation, beginning with the CLASSICS Act.

“One of the greatest injustices in U.S. copyright law went into effect 46 years ago today and continues to hurt American music makers who trailblazed the way for artists today.

“For decades, current law has short-changed singers, band members, producers, and every other musician who recorded their music prior to this day in 1972. The injustice associated with February 15th has caused immeasurable hardship for many of America’s most iconic music pioneers who brought us Rock ‘n’ Roll, Motown, Jazz and Blues that we still know and listen to today.

“Now we are finally on the verge of righting this historic wrong by changing the law and giving pre-72 artists the same treatment that U.S. copyright law affords to artists who recorded their songs after February 15, 1972. The CLASSICS Act enjoys broad, bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate and should be at the core of any music modernization considered by Congress this year.”


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