Satellite-radio firm SiriusXM has been coming under fire for lobbying against the US Music Modernization Act (MMA). Now its CEO Jim Meyer has written a guest column for Billboard defending the company over its position.
“Our position on the CLASSICS Act (now part of the MMA) has been clear since its introduction – it’s bad public policy to make a royalty obligation distinction between terrestrial radio and satellite radio,” wrote Meyer.
“Radio is radio. If SiriusXM and other ‘audio services’ pay pre-’72 royalties, then terrestrial radio should be required to do the same. The same is true for post-’72 royalties.”
Meyer added that in its current form, the MMA does not guarantee SiriusXM’s existing settlements over royalties for pre-1972 recordings.
“As a public company, we cannot responsibly put nearly $250 million at risk,” he wrote. “And despite having paid nearly $250 million to pre-’72 copyright owners, we (and Congress) have heard from artists in recent months that they do not realise their labels have been paid by SiriusXM, so we have proposed language that would assure artists are compensated for existing pre-’72 agreements, not just for those executed after the passage of the MMA.”
As is the way of these things, there will likely be another guest column from an industry body criticising Meyer’s piece within days.