The majority Of U.S. House Says Musicians Should Not Be Paid When Their Song Is On The Radio
“It’s crazy to think in 2020 songwriters are more regulated than Facebook. The American songwriter is one of the most government-controlled professions in American history,” - LeAnn Rimes
Twelve more members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to The Local Radio Freedom Act, which continues the practice of not paying performers when their song is played on broadcast radio.
With these new endorsements, a majority of the U.S. House has signed on support radio’s lack of payments to performers, a practice which every other free country in the developed world rejects as unfair. Unbelievably, the U.S. is one of only 4 countries in the world that doesn’t pay artists for radio airplay. More unbelievably, the other 3 are North Korea, Iran and China, none of which are exactly known for their artistic freedom, copyright protections, or human rights.
Songwriters are regulated by rules written 80 years ago and streaming has made it difficult for them to earn a fair wage. Songwriters are some of the most heavily regulated small-business owners in this country; even more so than pharmaceutical companies.
As an example, the Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is the most played song on the radio ever, with more than 15+ million plays since its release in 1964, yet the group never received a dime from all that radio airtime. Its writers (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector) got rich form it, however.
Bipartisan Lack Of Support For Musicians
Just in case you might think that Democrats would be better on this than Republicans, look at this week’s new endorsees:
- Danny Davis (D-IL-7)
- Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9)
- Brad Schneider (D-IL-10)
- Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5)
- Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11)
- Ben McAdams (D-UT-4)
- Michael Burgess (R-TX-26)
- Mike Garcia (R-CA-25)
- Chris Jacobs (R-NY-27)
- Michael McCaul (R-TX-10)
- John Moolenaar (R-MI-4)
- Thomas Tiffany (R-WI-7)
“Rather than paying music creators for their work as streaming services and broadcasters overseas do, the NAB has spent more than $15 million dollars on lobbyists to get Big Radio’s interests heard on Capitol Hill, including on this misleading anti-worker resolution. That’s more than twice the amount that small U.S. broadcasters would have to pay in royalities under the small business licensing caps in the bipartisan Ask Musicians for Music (AM/FM) Act.
“Copyright should not be regulated [by Congress],” states noted music attorney attorney Dina LaPolt, moderating the panel “Getting Credit Where Credit Is Due.” “It’s your property and you should be able to negotiate in a free market without the government saying what you should be paid.