SoundExchange Response To U.S. Copyright Office Proposed Reforms To Music Licensing System

SoundExchange Response To U.S. Copyright Office Proposed Reforms To Music Licensing System

SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe issued the below statement in response to the comprehensive report issued by the United States Copyright Office today – “Copyright and the Music Marketplace.”

“We’re grateful for the diligent and thoughtful work which the Copyright Office put into this report. The report contains a wealth of ideas and proposals, all of which will surely help spur discussion and hopefully inspire movement towards a better path forward for the entire industry.

“At SoundExchange, we have one core principle in our approach to music licensing reform: all creators should receive fair pay, on all platforms and technologies, whenever their music is used. Period.

“And the Copyright Office appears to forcefully agree with that principle.

“First, the Office is standing firm on its long-held position, consistent with that of six presidential administrations, that there is no good policy reason for the most egregious injustice in our music licensing system — that artists and labels are not compensated for the use of their work by the $17 billion AM/FM radio industry. There is simply no remaining question about this fundamental injustice. The conclusion is inescapable that there should be an AM/FM radio performance right for sound recordings in this country.

“Second, the Office reaffirms that all users of music should play by the same rules and compensate creators at fair market rates. The current system of disjointed rate standards is tantamount to picking winners and losers based upon the accident of their technology, rather than the merit of their business model.

“Third, the Office recognizes that recording artists who pioneered every genre of American music deserve to be paid fairly, even if they recorded before 1972.

“We look forward to working with the Copyright Office and other stakeholders in an effort to usher in the next great era of the music industry which this report seeks to foster.”