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American Music Fairness Act Re-Introduced in Congress


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

The American Music Fairness Act, legislation that would impose a new performance fee on broadcast radio outlets, has been re-introduced in Congress. If passed, the Act would mandate a fee on over-the-air music airplay on free, local radio that many, including the NAB, say would jeopardize local jobs, prevent new artists from breaking into the recording business and harm the hundreds of millions of Americans who rely on local radio by forcing additional fees.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said in a statement, "Local radio stations and performers have built a strong, mutually beneficial partnership that has endured for over a century. This partnership provides enormous value for new and established performers, local broadcast stations and the tens of millions of radio listeners that rely on our uniquely free service. Unfortunately, AMFA would destroy that relationship with a new government-imposed performance fee that is simply untenable for local radio. We urge the record labels to join us at the negotiating table to discuss a win-win solution to this issue that would benefit both performers and local broadcasters. But this one-sided legislation is not the answer."

Introduced in the Senate by Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and in the House by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the AMFA would require creators to pay royalties for AM/FM radio plays, dismantling the current system that provides promotional value for new and existing artists in exchange for airplay.

"Music creators have been forced to give away their work for far too long. It is time for Congress to demonstrate that they stand behind the hard-working Americans that provide the music we all love by finally passing the American Music Fairness Act," said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. "This bill has the broad support of artists, labels, small broadcasters, unions, and others because it strikes a fair balance by respecting creators for their work and protecting truly local broadcasters."

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