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AFTRA dives into the Radio Performance Rights Issue


And now the heat turns up on Radio.

Here’s the message that just went out to all (ALL!) AFTRA members:

Support Public Performance Rights – Tell Your Legislators to Support the Performance Rights Act Join with AFTRA recording artists, singers, broadcasters, and performers in supporting legislation to assure that recording artists receive compensation when their performances are played on over-the-air radio. It’s the Performance Rights Act — S. 2500 and H.R. 4789 — and it will grant a long-overdue performance right to performers when their music is played on the radio. The AFTRA Broadcasters’ Caucus supports this legislation: “Recording artists, singers, and musicians deserve to be fairly compensated when the sound recordings they create are broadcast over the air on terrestrial radio.” It’s time that recording artists and singers are recognized and compensated for the hard work and for the contribution to making this country’s music industry — and broadcasting industry — the strongest in the world. Send a message today to your Senators and Representative asking for their support of The Performance Rights Act!

It includes an email link to Congress.

The central difficulty for radio is this: The entirely correct argument that “Radio sells the music industry’s product without charging it for the the valuable airtime” involves faceless corporate behemoths on both sides. But the argument that “Radio steals from recording artists and makes a boatload of money” involves individuals – human beings – on one side, and a faceless corporate behemoth on the other.

And sympathies among people will always be for people first.

This is a key issue, and I hope NAB and our industry’s boosters are smart in the way they handle it.

So far, I’m not optimistic.

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