AFTRA Hails $50 Million Royalty Payout to
New York, NY, May 4, 2004—"The American
Federation of Television and Radio Artists applauds the work of
the [New York State] Attorney General's Office in achieving the
settlement that returns millions of dollars in unpaid royalties
to recording artists," said AFTRA National Executive Director Greg
Hessinger following the announcement that the five major recording
companies had agreed to pay $50 million in unclaimed recording
and publishing royalties to thousands of artists. "AFTRA looks
forward to working diligently with the record labels and other
artists' groups to implement this settlement and to continue to
pursue more comprehensive reform in the recording industry," Mr.
The agreement, which followed a
two-year long investigation by Mr. Eliot Spitzer's office, requires
Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, EMI and BMG to keep
better track of royalties owed to artists and their descendents.
To this end, the companies have agreed to share information and
to work more aggressively to locate those owed payments.AFTRA's
efforts to effect royalty reform go back more than a decade during
which union representatives and well-known performers have testified
on numerous occasions before Congress and other legislative bodies.
In addition, the union, which represents recording artists, created
a new administrative post, National Director for Sound Recordings,
headquartered in Washington, DC to oversee all matters in the legislative
and regulatory arenas.
Press Release - Office of New York State Attorney General