As Momentum For Music Fairness Grows, Pryor And Moschella Will Advance The Fight To Secure Fair Pay For AM/FM Radio Plays
Washington, DC, May 11, 2023 — musicFIRST – the voice for fairness and equity for music creators – announced today that former Senator Mark Pryor and veteran Capitol Hill strategist Will Moschella will serve as the coalition’s new Co-Chairmen, leading the continued effort to secure fair compensation for artists and music creators when their songs are played on AM/FM radio.
“Advocating for fairness has been the cornerstone of my career in public service, and this issue is no different. It’s simple: Everyone deserves to be paid for their hard work, and that includes artists and music creators,” said Senator Mark Pryor, Co-Chairman of the musicFIRST Coalition. “I love music and the music industry is a big driver of the U.S. economy. It is important we make the music ecosystem as healthy and robust as we can. I’m honored to get the chance to lead this next phase in the fight for music fairness, and look forward to building on our movement’s incredible momentum and making the American Music Fairness Act the law of the land in 2023.”
As a proud native of Arkansas — the home of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Levon Helm and many more legendary musicians — Senator Pryor represented his home state in the United States Senate for 12 years. During that time, he earned a reputation on Capitol Hill as a “voice of reason,” working across the aisle to pass more than 70 pieces of legislation on a range of critical issues. He plans to bring that unique combination of experience and expertise to bear as he advocates on behalf of artists and music creators in this new role.
Senator Pryor will partner with Will Moschella, who has been appointed Co-Chairman of the coalition. Moschella has previously served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the George W. Bush administration and Chief Legislative Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee, and brings a deep background in protecting our nation’s creative and intellectual resources from his time serving on the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property. He has played a key part in the movement for music fairness’ historic legislative progress to date, and will now further expand his role within musicFIRST’s advocacy effort.
“Receiving just compensation for work is a foundational American value. And for far too long now, hard-working American music creators have been denied the compensation they deserve for the use of their songs on AM/FM radio,” said Will Moschella, Co-Chairman of the musicFIRST Coalition. “Our coalition has made incredible progress in the past several years and we’re committed to advancing the commonsense American Music Fairness Act even further in the coming months. We look forward to working together, and alongside our many allies and advocates, to secure artists the pay they’re due.”
Over the past two years, outgoing chairman Congressman Joe Crowley has led the musicFIRST Coalition to unprecedented heights and significant legislative progress — including passing the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) out of the House Judiciary Committee, making it the most successful radio performance royalties bill since 2009. The Coalition would like to thank Congressman Crowley for his lifetime of leadership and fierce advocacy on behalf of artists, as he now hands the baton to the coalition’s new leadership for the final leg of the race.
Support for the coalition’s cause continues to grow among artists, community broadcasters and their allies, worker advocates and labor unions, and the American public. Roughly 6 in 10 voters (59%) say they would support Congress passing legislation that would require broadcasters to pay artists for AM/FM radio plays. A mere 15% say they would not support such a law.
In February, the bipartisan, bicameral American Music Fairness Act was reintroduced by Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in the House of Representatives and Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in the Senate. The commonsense bill would bring radio in line with all other music platforms — such as streaming services and digital platforms — that already pay artists for the use of their music. Notably, the legislation also ensures small, non-commercial, community stations will be able to play unlimited music for less than $2 per day (a maximum of $500 annually) — providing these essential community resources with affordability and certainty that will help them thrive.
For more information, please visit the musicFIRST website at www.musicfirstcoalition.org and follow the coalition on Twitter at @musicFIRST.
musicFIRST works to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all platforms and wherever and however it is played. We rally the people and organizations who make and love music to end the broken status quo that allows AM/FM to use any song ever recorded without paying its performers a dime. And to stand up for fair pay on digital radio — and whatever comes next.
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