WASHINGTON — (PRNewswire) — SoundExchange, the premier music tech organization powering the future of music, hailed today’s Senate and House reintroduction of the Music Fairness Act (AMFA) as a monumental step toward achieving respect and equity for music creators. The early introduction of the legislation reflects how momentum is building to finally rectify a decades-long injustice: the refusal of broadcast corporations to pay creators for AM/FM radio plays.
“Music creators have been forced to give away their work for far too long. It is time for Congress to demonstrate that they stand behind the hard-working Americans that provide the music we all love by finally passing the American Music Fairness Act,” said Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. “This bill has the broad support of artists, labels, small broadcasters, unions, and others because it strikes a fair balance by respecting creators for their work and protecting truly local broadcasters. No more excuses, no more waiting in line for their turn. Music creators demand the economic justice AMFA provides.”
Championed in the Senate by Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and in the House by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), AMFA ensures that creators are paid for AM/FM radio plays, requires billion-dollar corporations such as iHeart to pay their fair share for the music they play, and protects small and college radio stations by capping what they would have to pay to as little as $10 to $500 a year. The legislation also levels the music playing field across terrestrial and digital platforms. Creators are currently paid when their music is played on streaming services such as SiriusXM – but receive no compensation from AM/FM radio stations.
The cause for music fairness made significant progress last year with the House Judiciary Committee approval of the legislation, which had to overcome a multi-million dollar lobbying and advertising campaign by corporate broadcasters to thwart it. During that markup, even long-time skeptics of the legislation acknowledged that it wasn’t fair for music creators to be paid nothing when their music is played on AM/FM radio. Americans overwhelmingly agree: By a four-to-one margin, they support Congress requiring broadcasters to pay artists when their music is played on AM/FM radio, according to a musicFIRST coalition survey conducted late last year.
SoundExchange and its 600,000-member community of creators are leaders in musicFIRST, a coalition working to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work on all platforms and wherever and however it is played. To learn more about the movement for music fairness, visit https://musicfirstcoalition.org.
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