You may have recently received an email from Pandora and other broadcasters regarding the so-called “Internet Radio Fairness Act,” introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT. We wanted to give you a little more information about what this bill really means.
At its core, this bill is an attempt by Pandora and other webcasters to reduce the royalty fees that you are paid for their use of your sound recordings on digital radio. Right now, the law requires the webcasting rates to be set under a “willing buyer, willing seller” standard – that is, the fair market value of your recording. Pandora, however, wants the law to be changed so that the rate could be set at less than fair market value, potentially much less. We believe in digital radio and its future, but we do not believe there is any reason that webcasters and broadcasters should pay less than fair market value when the music that we all enjoy, your creative contributions, are the main content of a digital radio service.
And while these services complain about a supposed lack of “parity” among different platforms, the bill utterly fails to address the most glaring inequity of all — the fact that AM/FM broadcasters still pay nothing in performance royalties to recording artists and record labels. It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion about true radio rate parity without addressing this unfair exemption. And a level playing field should not mean yet further reduced rates paid to artists and record labels.
Musicians should not be deprived of the income they deserve. If you agree, please let your representatives in Washington know, and tell them not to support the “Internet Radio Fairness Act.” Let them know that recording artists and copyright owners deserve more for their creative contributions to the digital music space, not less.
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