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American Music Fairness Act seeks radio recordings royalties


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The fact that terrestrial radio broadcasters in the US do not pay performance royalties to artists or labels has been a longstanding complaint from the music industry. Could that finally be changing? That’s the aim of the bipartisan American Music Fairness Act, which was introduced this week by representatives Ted Deutch and Darrell Issa.

“For far too long, our broken system has let FM/AM radio stations get away with refusing to pay artists when they play their music. It’s time to right this wrong, because paying people for their hard work is the fair thing to do,” said Deutch in a statement.

The bill would give small radio stations making less than $1.5m a year an exemption so they only pay “a nominal annual fee” (of $500).

Music industry bodies are firmly behind the legislation, and equally unsurprisingly, radio industry body the NAB is firmly against it, and indeed has already been backing a Local Radio Freedom Act which sought to head off any such introduction of performance royalties for radio.

Stuart Dredge

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