Senate Introduces Bipartisan CLASSICS Act Covering Pre-1972 Recordings

WASHINGTON D.C. (Hypebot) – The CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) was introduced in the U.S, Congress on Wednesday by a bipartisan group of Senators.

The law would close a loophole that means that only sound recordings made after 1972 receive payments from digital radio services.

Senators John Kennedy (R-La.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today introduced the bipartisan CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act). The law would close a flawed loophole that leaves classic artists out of the federal copyright system. Currently only sound recordings made after 1972 receive payments from digital radio services under federal law.

This decades-old loophole has denied federal copyright protection to legacy artists who recorded music before the arbitrary cut-off date of February 15, 1972. The result is that artists are subjected to a patchwork of state laws. The CLASSICS Act fixes this loophole by creating a new federal intellectual property regime to cover these “pre-19The legislation is a companion bill to the version introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last year (H.R. 3301) by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and is supported by scores of artists as well as a wide array of stakeholders from across the music and Internet communities.

SoundExchange would distribute royalties for pre-‘72 recordings played by Internet, cable, and satellite radio services just as it does for post-‘72 recordings.

“This legislation erases an arbitrary and artificial line current policy draws between pre and post 1972 recordings, and rightfully provides compensation for some of America’s most treasured music,” said Michael Huppe, President, and CEO of SoundExchange. “It is emblematic of the growing demand for comprehensive copyright reform, including market-based rate standards and a performance right for sound recordings across all platforms including AM/FM radio. We thank Senators Kennedy, Coons, Tillis, Corker, and Booker for advancing the movement towards fairness and equity for music creators.”

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