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NEW BILL ADDRESSES PRE-'72 RECORDINGS

Two congressmen have introduced a bill to establish a royalty payment system for to compensate artists and songwriters when their pre-1972 music is played on digital radio services.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) have introduced the CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act). Pandora, the RIAA and SoundExchange immediately applauded the effort.

Noting Motown, jazz and rock & roll have been “hampered by antiquated and arbitrary laws,” Steve Bené, Pandora General Counsel said, “it’s the independent musicians that this bill rightly protects. We commend Representatives Issa and Nadler for bringing pre-1972 recordings into the modern era, and ensuring that our most cherished artists are finally on equal footing with their modern peers and paid for their record streams.” 

“This updated, bipartisan legislation helps close, once and for all, the loophole in federal law that has shortchanged legacy artists for decades,” said RIAA Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman. “If enacted into law as we hope it will be, music’s founding generation of iconic performers and creators will finally share some of the value generated by the music that is the backbone of digital radio.”

SoundExchange President and CEO Mike Huppe said, “It represents another step forward in our efforts to enact comprehensive copyright reform including the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, introduced by Representatives Nadler and Issa in March.”

Melissa Etheridge, Sam Moore and Steve Cropper are among the affected musicians who have spoken out in favor of the bill.

Nadler noted, “Hopefully, this new measure will serve as an example of the consensus that can be reached between the creators and distributors of music as we work to comprehensively update our music licensing laws.”

 

 

 

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