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American Music Fairness Act: Battle Continues as Awareness, Support Grow

In early December, the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA), which would require AM/FM stations to pay performance royalties to featured artists, musicians, and vocalists for radio airplay, moved a step closer to passage as the House Judiciary Committee voted favorably to advance the bill. While the AMFA, ultimately, was not included in the final language of the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, there was significant progress in the fight for musicians and artists during 2022.

Comments made at the Judiciary Committee markup strongly illustrate this progress by demonstrating bipartisan support from members on the relevant committees. Fierce lobbying and musician advocacy for AMFA has had an incredible impact on support for this issue. An overwhelming majority of Americans now stand with artists—61% of American voters believe it’s unfair that musicians don’t get paid when their songs are played on the radio, and 70% support Congress taking action to address this injustice by passing legislation such as the American Music Fairness Act.

Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) swiftly and efficiently facilitated passing AMFA out of the last Judiciary Committee Markup of the 117th Congress, without extemporaneous amendments, and in a record 15-minute session.

In 2023, the AFM and musicFIRST Coalition will continue the fight to ensure that hardworking artists in the United States finally receive compensation when their copyrighted intellectual property is played on the radio.