WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has put its stamp of approval on the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA), clearing the way for markup and a final vote by the full House of Representatives.
If approved, the Act would bring the United States into parity with much of the rest of the world in creating a new performance royalty for music played on broadcast radio.
Proponents of the change maintain that adding performance royalties is an important step in ensuring content creators and performers are fairly compensated for their work.
“Congressional action on the American Music Fairness Act demonstrates that while justice can be delayed, it ultimately cannot be denied,” said Michael Huppe, President and CEO of SoundExchange. “For decades, broadcast corporations have made hundreds of billions of dollars while denying creators royalties for music played on AM/FM radio stations. That’s fundamentally wrong. Everyone knows that, including the broadcasters.”
However, opponents of the proposed legislation maintain that adding performance royalties will reduce airplay for all but the most popular artists, while jeopardizing jobs by imposing new fees that may be unsustainable in smaller markets.
“NAB thanks the members of the House Judiciary Committee who voted against the AMFA today, and the more than 250 members of Congress – including a majority of the House of Representatives – that support a resolution opposing this new performance royalty on local radio. These lawmakers understand that AMFA will harm local broadcasters and audiences around the country, undermine our ability to serve their communities and ultimately fail artists by leading to less music airplay. Broadcasters urge the recording industry to join us in serious discussions instead of using the few legislative days left in the calendar to pursue divisive legislation that faces broad congressional opposition,” said Curtis LeGeyt, President of the National Association of Broadcasters.
While the legislation has made it to the floor of the House, it is unexpected to be passed by the current Congress.