"This issue is one of fundamental fairness," Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan declared before Congress on Tuesday. Corgan testified before the House Judiciary Committee on behalf of the musicFIRST Coalition, which seeks financial compensation for music artists whose songs are played on corporate radio stations.
According to a statement on the musicFIRST website:
“For over 80 years corporate radio has not paid artists when they play their songs over the air – the same songs that attract millions of listeners and millions of advertising dollars to their stations.”
The statement goes on to explain that “in December 2007, a bill was introduced in Congress which would close this loophole in the copyright law and ensure that AM and FM radio fairly compensates artists when their music is played on the radio.”
This bill, known as the Performance Rights Act, or H.R. 848, is what Corgan appeared before Congress to defend. According to Corgan, H.R. 848 "redresses an outmoded, unfair practice that favors one participant's needs over another.” He went on to say that “this legislation is simply a form of restoration to artists that is long overdue."
An article published at smashingpumpkins.com explains that the Act “would close a loophole in copyright law that allows music radio stations to earn billions every year without compensating the artists and musicians who bring music to life and listeners ears to the radio dial. The bipartisan legislation was introduced in February. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate, S. 379. Since then, hundreds of artists, musicians, producers and label representatives have come to Washington to make the case for a fair performance right on radio.”
The Performance Rights Act is supported by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA), Music Managers Forum - USA (MMF- USA), The Latin Recording Academy, The Recording Academy, The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Inc, Recording Artists' Coalition (RAC), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Society of Singers, SoundExchange and Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
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