The American Music Fairness Act is the latest attempt to make US terrestrial radio broadcasters pay performance royalties for the music they play. It’s the subject of heated arguments between the radio industry (which is backing a competing bill called the Local Radio Freedom Act, which would rule out such royalties) and the music industry.

From the latter camp, the Future of Music Coalition [FMC] has been outlining the benefits the first bill would have for artists, in response to what it claims are attempts by radio body NAB to convince politicians that labels, not artists would benefit.

“Statutory royalties collected under the terms of this legislation will be treated the same as digital radio royalties: 45% goes to the featured artist, 5% goes to a union-administered fund for backing vocalists and session musicians, and 50% goes to the sound recording owner,” claimed the FMC.

It went on to note that self-releasing artists would thus collect 95% of these royalties (if they’re on a 100% deal with their distributor, obviously) and that “importantly, artists’ royalties aren’t held against any recoupable debt to their label”.

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