Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A&E FYI: AFM hails legislation to bring fairness to radio

The American Federation of Musicians applauded the introduction today of the “Performance Rights Bill” designed to require large radio stations to fairly compensate musicians for broadcasting their recordings, while protecting songwriters, small radio stations and noncommercial and religious broadcasters.

“For performers, music is hardly ever wealth and glamour,” said AFM President Thomas F. Lee. “For most, it is hard work and a modest living. It is only fair that corporate radio compensate musicians when it uses their recorded work to attract listeners and advertising dollars. This bill strikes a great balance. It will provide fair compensation for performers, fair accommodations for small, noncommercial and religious radio stations, and fair protections for songwriters. It will help us all to survive and bring great music to the American public.”

The bill was introduced in the House by Representatives Berman, Issa, Conyers, Shadegg, Harman and Blackburn, and in the Senate by Senators Leahy, Hatch and Feinstein. “Professional musicians are deeply grateful to the legislation’s sponsors for their leadership and foresight in trying to bring the U.S. in line with the developed world, where performers routinely are paid royalties for radio broadcasts,” said Lee. The AFM pledged its support for the legislation and called for swift enactment.

Founded in 1896, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. With more than 90,000 members, the AFM represents all types of professional musicians, including those who record music for sound recordings, film scores, radio, television and commercial announcements, as well as perform music of every genre in every sort of venue from small jazz clubs to symphony orchestra halls to major stadiums. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape.

~Information and image courtesy of AFM

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