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MusicFIRST on Clear Channel/WMG Deal: Way to be “Supportive of Each Other’s Needs’ is to Establish a Real Performance Right

12 September 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, the musicFIRST Coalition’s Executive Director Ted Kalo issued the following statement on the Warner Music Group and Clear Channel partnership agreement.

musicFIRST Coalition Executive Director Ted Kalo’s statement:

“While we applaud Warner Music and Clear Channel for working together on a deal that allows more artists to share revenue and we appreciate the forward leaning, pro-artist sentiments expressed by Clear Channel’s leadership, these deals are no substitute for a real, industry-wide AM/FM performance right. 

“Unfortunately, Clear Channel and its trade association, the National Association of Broadcasters, have been the principal roadblocks to ending the loophole that allows AM/FM broadcast radio alone to take music without paying artists or labels. Negotiations are good — but no one can say they are a complete solution when only one side at the table has rights to deal. And no one can dispute that, if creators had such a right, all creators (not just those on labels that negotiated a deal) would be more justly compensated.

“The NAB faced a brutal week on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers pointing out its hypocrisy in arguing that video creators must be paid for their work while music creators should not. Isn’t it time for the NAB to be consistent and principled rather than hypocritical?

“Only a legal performance right will provide artists, including non-featured artists, the security they deserve: the right to be paid for their work. And only a legal right will create reciprocity for foreign radio airplay so that artists can receive an estimated $100 million a year in income from overseas.

“If Clear Channel’s leadership is as forward thinking and pro-artist as their statements suggest, we hope they will at long last publicly break from the NAB’s obstruction of a performance right. Mr. Pittman says that artists and broadcasters need to be ‘more supportive of each other’s needs.’ Supporting a real performance right would be a good place to start.”

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