Two (2) new bills have been introduced that affect protection and compensation regarding sound recordings. A sound recording includes CDs, vinyl, mp3 and digital formats.
- Fair Play Fair Pay Act (HR 1836), was re-introduced in the House in March, 2017. Most people are surprised to learn that a radio station does is not required to pay the record label or the artist/band when it plays sound recordings. Only the songwriter gets paid. This Fair Play bill is intended to create a terrestrial performance royalty for sound recordings. Radio stations and broadcasters are opposed to the Bill as it would cost them additional money to play “records” arguing that artists and labels receive fair treatment based on the free promotion when the song is broadcast and resulting purchase of albums, merchandise and concert tickets.
- The Classics Act (HR 3301) (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act), would provide federal copyright protection for sound recordings made prior to 1972. Any recordings made prior to 1972 only enjoyed state by state copyright protection if a state offered it by statute. Very few states did.
These bills are not new. They typically fail. I’ll keep you updated.