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How Working Musicians Will Win When Congress Passes Radio Performance Right
"While radio rocks out and cashes in over Labor Day, the performers you hear get paid nothing. There's a better way…" –Conversations In Advoacay #64
Labor Day comes around each year to remind us of the precious power and intrinsic value of hard work in our culture. For working music makers, compensation for their hard work can be tricky to track down, as music permeates into so many spaces in our lives. But in the realm of broadcast radio, artists and producers still don't get paid for the performance of their music, songs they worked hard to create.
Imagine that: AM/FM radio stations can use any song ever recorded without paying the artists, performers or producers a dime. That's a lot of hard work gone unrecognized.
Now imagine this: if royalties were paid for music played on terrestrial radio, it would not only benefit the featured artist on your favorite track, but also the studio musicians and backing vocalists who performed on the track too. That’s because a portion of the royalties would flow through the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. The fund then distributes royalties to entitled singers and musicians, and while only union members are eligible to receive foreign royalties, all U.S. royalties are paid out without regard to membership. Clearly, this would put money in the pockets of all the music makers you hear over the airwaves.
This shouldn't be complicated – music creators should be compensated for their work, regardless of where it's played. https://t.co/vZwzpMy1kk
— musicFIRST (@musicFIRST) August 28, 2019
This is why AFM and SAG-AFTRA, along with the Recording Academy, are founding members of musicFIRST, which works to ensure music creators get fair pay for their work, on AM/FM and wherever and however it is played. Together we all fight to ensure music creators receive fair pay, regardless of what format utilizes their music.
So as you fire up the grill on Labor Day and dial in your favorite station, consider the hard work put in by the artists and producers you hear and contact your Members of Congress to urge them to finally establish a long overdue performance right so we can keep the music playing.