New Bill Opens Discussion on Music Rights
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On April 5, 2017, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) introduced H.R. 1914, the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity To Earn Act of 2017 (PROMOTE Act). This legislation would grant sound recording copyright owners the exclusive right to prohibit the broadcast transmission of sound recordings by means of terrestrial radio stations.
While satellite and internet-based radio stations compensate the artists and producers of audio performances, local AM/FM radio stations are exempt from having to pay their fair share. Under current law, a performer holds no effective rights to his or her product and receives no compensation when a song is played over local terrestrial radio. This arrangement harkens back to the early days of radio, when free airplay without compensation was the primary method by which musicians could get their music heard.
Giving copyright owners the right to prevent AM/FM radio stations from playing their music without their permission will begin to open the door to a further discussion on performance rights compensation.