The Recording Academy Lobbies Congress On 'Grammys On The Hill Advocacy Day' Seeking Performance Fees From Radio
April 15, 2016 at 3:58 AM (PT)
YESTERDAY (4/14), more than 200 RECORDING ACADEMY members from across the country came to WASHINGTON, D.C. for "GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day," They were there to lobby Congress to pass legislation that would make terrestrial radio broadcasters pay performance royalties when their songs are aired.
THE TENNESSEAN reports, "the proposal, co-sponsored by Rep. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-BRENTWOOD, TN), is a priority for THE RECORDING ACADEMY, whose members say such a law would bring the U.S. more into line with the rest of the world, keep pace with changes in the technology of music consumption and fairly compensate artists whenever AM or FM radio plays their songs."
“Their product is still being used as a product that an entity profits from — they’re making money on it — but the individual that created that product doesn’t get any share of that,” BLACKBURN told the paper.
BLACKBURN, along with Rep. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY) are sponsors the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which would end the long standing agreement that AM and FM radio stations, which pay songwriting fees, not pay performance royalties to the artists singing and playing on music aired.
THE TENNESSEAN notes, "GEORGE FLANIGEN, Chairman Emeritus of THE RECORDING ACADEMY, was among the musicians and songwriters who fanned out across Capitol Hill on THURSDAY to meet with lawmakers and press them to support the legislation. He said the old model no longer works in the modern world of satellite radio and Internet streaming."
“We’re going to lose that creative niche in our society of songwriters,” FLANIGEN said after a meeting with BLACKBURN. “Those people who wrote songs (for someone else to perform) did nothing but write songs. The artists are making their living on the road, but now the songwriter is making next to nothing. It could make the songwriter extinct.”
“It is disappointing that this bill retreads years-old policy positions rather than advancing the copyright dialog through policies that help grow the entire music ecosystem,” NAB EVP/Communications DENNIS WHARTON said. Broadcasters are pushing for legislation that would prohibit payment of royalties by broadcast radio stations. It's endorsed by up 225 co-sponsors in the U.S. House.