Yesterday, House Democrats Jerrold Nadler, John Conyers Jr. and Ted Deutch and Republican House member Marsha Blackburn introduced the "Fair Play, Fair Pay Act of 2015" to members of Congress seeking to make sure music creators receive fair pay for their work.
During a press conference in New York on Monday, musicFirst Coaltion executive director Ted Kalo said, "The bill is designed to return the music licensing system to a basic principal of Fair Play, Fair Pay."
American Association of Independent Music (“A2IM”) President Rich Bengloff released the following statement addressing the critical importance of lawmakers supporting this important piece of legislation:
A2IM represents a broad coalition of 350 Independent music labels from 41 states across the U.S. We represent every region, every demographic, and every musical genre. Independent music labels are a critical support system for America’s vibrant musician community and rich cultural heritage.
Independent Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have finite resources to market and release music by some of the world’s most celebrated, iconic artists. The status quo threatens the livelihood of Independent label owner/investors and their artists by denying them the fair value of their work. Asking music creators to forgo income while allowing Big Radio to make millions in advertising off of their songs seems profoundly un-American.
The potential impact of Fair Play Fair Pay is enormous. The Independent music label sector has a direct impact on our economy, including cultivating thousands of middle-class domestic jobs and employment at the music labels and in related industries. Fair Play Fair Pay means more work for video directors, production teams, sound engineers, physical goods manufacturers, photographers, publicists, and more.
In addition, our community has a notable economic multiplier effect on non-music businesses like musical instruments and electronics and from technology and digital media usages, including television, films, games and radio. Music creation feeds these businesses with consumer content.
We’re also losing overseas royalties because of the AM/FM radio loophole. Because the United States is the only one of 34 OECD countries that does not have an AM/FM performance right, we take an “exception” from international agreements. This “exception” causes us to lose around $100 million in royalties from other countries, royalties that could flow to U.S. performers.
Fair Play Fair Pay is critical to protecting the livelihood of America’s Independent music labels and their artists. Our community is very appreciative of the efforts by Congressmen Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and hope their colleagues in the House will join them in supporting the creative visionaries that provide the world with the artists and music they love.