An incoming administration in the US? Time to get lobbying, whether you’re a technology or music industry body.
The MusicFirst Coalition is the latest to remind new and returning legislators of its hopes for the next four years, publishing an open letter to the 115th US Congress.
It outlines several complaints on behalf of musicians, starting with the lack of terrestrial-radio royalties in the US: “Congress can very easily fix this,” claims the letter, which paints a target on the back of ‘Big Radio’.
The Coalition also wants Congress to put an end to the “inexplicable anomaly in federal law” that means most music from before 1972 doesn’t generate royalties on various forms of radio. “Finally we seek a simple and market-based rate standard for all music services,” concludes the letter.
“Digital services like Pandora use a market-based rate, satellite services like SiriusXM use a grandfathered below-market rate and, again, terrestrial radio plays music for free. We want every business that delivers music to consumers to thrive and grow, but they all should pay a market-based rate to the artists and creators that they depend on.”
None of this is a surprise, but it neatly sketches out some of the key US copyright debates for the next four years from the Coalition’s members including the RIAA, A2IM, SoundExchange and the Recording Academy.