All across this country, thousands of artists, session musicians, and vocalists are working to build a good life by playing the music they (and we) love — but the rules are rigged against them.
For far too long, our broken system has let AM/FM radio stations — many of which are owned by just a few massive media corporations — get away with refusing to pay performers when they play their music. While corporate broadcasters gobble up billions in advertising dollars, the artists and musicians whose performances make all of it possible receive no compensation whatsoever for their hard work. It’s unfair, plain and simple. It’s time to right this wrong.
Congress should pass the American Music Fairness Act, legislation introduced by Reps. Ted Deutch and Darrell Issa, which has original cosponsors from both parties. This bill helps unrig the rules and requires corporate broadcasters to fairly compensate artists, session musicians, and vocalists when they play their songs on AM/FM radio. Because paying people for their hard work is the right thing to do.
- Ensure performers are compensated when their songs are played on terrestrial radio.
- Treat competing music platforms the same and create a fair market value for music performance royalties by including terrestrial broadcasts in the existing Section 114(d)(1) of title 17 of United States Code.
- Protect small, local radio broadcasters through an exemption for stations with less than $1.5 million in annual revenue and whose parent companies make less than $10 million in overall annual revenue. For less than $2 per day ($500 annually), small and local stations can play unlimited music.
- Exempt qualified public, college, and other noncommercial stations (who would only pay $100 a year), and super small stations.
- Support American artists when foreign stations play their music, recognizing American artists’ performance right.
- Protect songwriters and publishers, ensuring no harmful impact on the public performance rights and royalties payable to songwriters, musical work copyright owners, and publishers.
Americans believe everyone should be paid fairly for their work — and music is no exception!