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MUSIC FAIRNESS BILL INTRODUCED IN SENATE

The American Music Fairness Act, which aims to get performers paid when their music is played on AM and FM radio, has been introduced into the Senate by Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

The bill, which is working its way through committees in the House of Representatives, will require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay royalties to American musicians and create “a fair global market that ensures foreign countries pay U.S. artists for the use of their songs overseas.”

The bill would make an exemption for small and local stations with less than $1.5m in annual revenue and with parent companies pulling in less than $10m yearly; they would pay $500 annually. 

“For too long, our laws have unfairly denied artists the right to receive fair compensation for their hard work and talent on AM/FM broadcasts,” Sen. Padilla said in a statement. “California’s artists have played a pivotal role in enriching and diversifying our country’s music scene. That is why passing the American Music Fairness Act is so important. It’s time we treat our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we enjoy every day.”

Among the bill’s backers are the Recording Academy, the RIAA, the American Association of Independent Music and the American Federation of Musicians.

“The American Music Fairness Act is a necessary and overdue step toward bringing the music industry into the 21st century,” said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. “It ends decades of injustice of denying music creators payment for their work on AM/FM radio and levels the playing field between traditional broadcasts and streaming platforms. This is a common-sense blueprint for a healthier and fairer music industry, and we strongly support its passage on behalf of our 570,000-creator community.”

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