U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Thursday (Sept. 22) launched a companion invoice to the American Music Equity Act (AMFA), the Home laws that will require AM/FM stations to pay efficiency royalties to music creators and copyright holders for radio airplay within the U.S.
“From Beale Avenue to Music Row to the hills of East Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s songwriters have undeniably made their mark,” mentioned Sen. Blackburn in an announcement. “Nevertheless, whereas broadcasters demand compensation for the content material they create and distribute, they don’t apply this view to the songwriters, artists, and musicians whose music they play on the radio with out paying royalties. Tennessee’s creators need to be compensated for his or her work This laws will be sure that they obtain honest cost and may hold the nice hits coming.”
Sen. Padilla added, “For too lengthy, our legal guidelines have unfairly denied artists the appropriate to obtain honest compensation for his or her arduous work and expertise on AM/FM broadcasts. California’s artists have performed a pivotal position in enriching and diversifying our nation’s music scene. That’s the reason passing the American Music Equity Act is so necessary. It’s time we deal with our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we take pleasure in daily.”
The Home invoice was launched in June 2021 by Congressmen Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Darrell Isa (R-CA) and unveiled at a press convention exterior Capitol Hill that featured Dionne Warwick, Sam Moore and Dropkick Murphys singer/bassist Ken Casey. It has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, the American Affiliation of Unbiased Music (A2IM), the American Federation of Musicians, the Recording Academy, the Recording Business Affiliation of America (RIAA), SAG-AFTRA and SoundExchange.
In contrast to satellite tv for pc/on-line radio and streaming providers, AM/FM stations pay solely songwriter royalties on the music they broadcast. The AMFA would set up honest market worth for radio efficiency royalties in the identical method it has been for these different platforms.
Each variations of the AMFA would additionally compel radio stations based mostly in different nations to pay U.S.-based artists when their songs are performed abroad. That provision accounts for the frequent observe amongst non-U.S. radio stations of avoiding paying efficiency royalties to American artists — even when the nations the place they function require them — by exploiting the AM/FM loophole in U.S. regulation.
Moreover, each the Home and Senate variations of the AMFA embrace protections for songwriters to alleviate fears that songwriter royalties could be undermined by the laws.
The AMFA was partially a response to the Native Radio Freedom Act, a non-binding decision launched in Might 2021 by Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) that opposes efficiency royalties for radio, arguing it could be financially devastating for broadcasters. A companion decision to the invoice was launched within the Senate by Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY). Each are backed by the Nationwide Affiliation of Broadcasters (NAB), which has lengthy been against imposing a efficiency royalty payout for terrestrial radio.
Final month, the NAB introduced that 222 representatives and 28 Senators had come aboard to cosponsor the Native Radio Freedom Act. In an announcement on the time, NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt mentioned the imposition of a efficiency royalty would “enormously harm” the “decades-long relationship” between recording artists and broadcasters. Opponents of those efficiency royalties have lengthy argued that AM/FM stations present what quantities to free publicity for artists by taking part in their music and that they shouldn’t be compelled to pay out cash on high of that.
In response to the NAB’s August announcement, Congressman Joe Crowley, who serves as chairman of the musicFIRST Coalition, known as it “meaningless” and characterised the Native Radio Freedom Act as “a purely symbolic decision that can’t grow to be regulation or do something for native radio stations.” He famous that as a result of the decision is non-binding, it doesn’t stop any of its cosponsors from additionally supporting the AMFA, including that 4 lawmakers sponsor each. Later in his assertion, he nodded to a provision that will permit stations that earn lower than $1.5 million in annual income (and whose mum or dad firms make lower than $10 million per 12 months general) to pay simply $2 per day for the appropriate to play limitless music. In the meantime, the AMFA would permit school and different small, noncommercial stations to pay as little as $10 per 12 months.
The AMFA is barely the latest try by members of Congress to drive radio stations to pay efficiency royalties, a typical observe in different nations however one which has not traditionally been required within the U.S. In Nov. 2019, Blackburn and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) launched the same invoice known as the Ask Musicians for Music Act, which might have allowed artists and copyright house owners to barter efficiency royalty charges with radio stations in alternate for permission to play their music. That laws adopted a earlier invoice, the Truthful Play Truthful Pay Act — additionally launched by Blackburn and Nadler — that was aimed on the similar objective.
The Home model of the AMFA obtained a listening to within the Home Judiciary Committee in February and is at present shifting by way of the committee course of.