Satellite-radio firm SiriusXM continues to be one of the chief villains of 2018 for the US music industry, thanks to its lobbying efforts to amend (if not block) the Music Modernization Act.

Now RIAA president Mitch Glazier has published an opinion column criticising SiriusXM for its approach. “The company has embarked on a full-court press seeking eleventh-hour changes to legislation that has unanimously passed the House of Representatives and the Judiciary Committee in the Senate,” he wrote for Billboard. “It seeks to upend one of the most popular and broadly supported pieces of music legislation in decades – a bill that has to date 75 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, the backing of every creator organization, and all the major music services – except, of course, for SiriusXM.”

His summary of SiriusXM’s lobbying motivations is blunt: “1) They had to pay to settle litigation they lost because they didn’t want to pay legacy artists and don’t want to pay after those agreements expire in a few years; 2) They want to pay less than their competitors and deny fair market value for the recordings they play; and 3) they want to deny songwriters the chance to make a case for better rates in court.” The question is whether this will influence the politicians responsible for taking the MMA legislation forward. Glazier wrote that he is “confident” it won’t, but the series of similar op-eds from industry bodies can’t help but suggest they are concerned.

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  1. If you want to knock SiriusXM for not voluntarily paying the pre-1972 recording artists after Congress left them out of the legislation awarding the royalties, and if you want to knock SiriusXM for trying to hang on to the lower rates that it was initially given due to the expense, novelty, and risk of satellite transmissions, that’s OK. But you should really mention the primary reason that SiriusXM objected to the legislation: AM/FM broadcast radio pays absolutely no royalties to no artists, thanks to the clout of their heavyweight lobby: The National Association of Broadcasters.

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