On May 7, 2014, Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H.R. 4588, the Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act [PDF], which aims to get performers and labels paid when their music is played on AM/FM radio.
This proposed legislation is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it demonstrates the growing bipartisan consensus that performing artists deserve compensation when their music is used in over-the-air broadcasts. Second, it shows how members of Congress who have disagreed on many issues—including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)—can come together to do the right thing by creators.
Given how opposed the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has been to the concept of paying performing artists and sound copyright owners for the over-the-air broadcast of their work, we think this is pretty significant. Of course “significant” doesn’t mean inevitable. Let’s review the facts. read more
Here at FMC, we tend to think a lot about changing business models for musicians. Certainly, many artists are still making the majority of their money from selling CDs, merch or playing gigs. Yet we’ve come to realize that musicians’ access to potential revenue — especially in today’s digital landscape — expands far beyond that.
Recently, FMC started ponder all this in a more organized fashion: just how many different ways are there for musicians to earn money? We’ve come up with 29 so far, which we list below.
On one side, we have an entrenched and powerful industry, ominously suggesting that this new legislation will eliminate services, wreak hardship on the land, maybe even put folks out of business. On the other side, we find advocates for change arguing for a measure they view as lifesaving. And they’re damning the old guard for using scare tactics, brute muscle and misuse of the public trust to unfairly defend the status quo. . .
…The [Public Performance Right] bills under consideration in the House and Senate stipulate that the estimated 75 percent of U.S. stations that gross less than $1.25 million annually would pay “no more than $5,000 in performance royalties, and in many cases it would be a lot less than that,” says Casey Rae-Hunter, another advocate who works with the Future of Music Coalition. read more
Earlier this week, Billboard reported that MusicFIRST — a coalition of music industry and musician union groups pushing for a public performance right for terrestrial radio — has "asked the FCC to investigate whether radio stations have violated their public interest obligation by allegedly boycotting artists who support a performance royalty for terrestrial radio." read more
Yesterday (March 10, 2009), the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Public Performance Right for Sound Recordings, which featured testimony from folks on all sides of the issue, including one bona fide rock star (no, President Obama didn't stop by).
Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins joined Mitch Bainwol (Chairman and CEO, RIAA), Paul Almeida (President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO), W. Lawrence Patrick (President, Patrick Communications), Stan Liebowitz, Ph.D. (Ashbel Smith Distinguished Professor of Managerial Economics, University of Texas at Dallas) and Steve Newbury (Chairman of the Radio Board, National Association of Broadcasters) to present their views on the Public Performance Right. read more