'Project72' And RESPECT Act Seek Royalty Payments From Webcasters For Pre-1972 Music
May 29, 2014 at 5:41 AM (PT)
SOUNDEXCHANGE was joined by dozens of recording artists TODAY (5/29) to launch "Project72," a campaign to receive equal treatment for musicians and rights holders with sound recordings made prior to 1972 from digital radio. Project72 is launching in conjunction with TODAY's introduction of The RESPECT Act, by Representatives GEORGE HOLDING (R-NC) and JOHN CONYERS (D-MI). Their legislation would require digital radio services to pay royalties to pre-1972 artists when their music is played by companies that use the statutory license administered by SOUNDEXCHANGE.
Project72 shines a spotlight on digital radio providers who are not paying royalties to musicians who recorded music before FEBRUARY 15, 1972. Based on their interpretation of state and federal copyright law, these companies believe that they can use pre-1972 recordings for free, forever. SOUNDEXCHANGE estimates that this practice deprived legacy artists and record labels of more than $60 million in digital royalties last year alone.
"We applaud Representatives HOLDING and CONYERS for taking this step toward righting a wrong being done to pre-72 artists whose music has inspired all of us. The RESPECT Act rightfully requires digital radio to treat all sound recordings equally, regardless of the date they were made," said SOUNDEXCHANGE Pres./CEO MICHAEL HUPPE. "It's time we show respect for the legends of Motown, Jazz and Blues, and those who gave birth to Rock n' Roll. Their work is still a massive force on radio and is the foundation of the music we listen to today."
Project72 kicks off with an open letter, signed by more than 70 recording artists, calling on digital radio to treat all sound recordings equally and to "pay for all the music they play." Artists and bands urging these services to "do right by legacy artists" include: THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, THE BEACH BOYS, ROSEANNE CASH, MELISSA ETHERIDGE, AL GREEN, B.B. KING, THE MOODY BLUES, CYNDI LAUPER, MARTHA REEVES, MEMBERS OF STEELY DAN, THE SUPREMES, THE TEMPTATIONS, THREE DOG NIGHT and many more.