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AFTRA Joins Music Community Leaders at Policy Summit

                                  Community to Congress: Content Protection a Must
                                         for New Digital Radio Distribution Services

WASHINGTON, D.C., (September 7, 2006) – In the wake of a series of forums held across the country, leaders from the music community, including AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, convened this week to develop strategies on a range of issues, including the inequity posed by new digital radio devices giving away copies of music without appropriate compensation to creators.

Today, the music community leaders issued a joint statement:

“Digital audio (HD) broadcasts deliver near CD quality sound over the airwaves. The music community welcomes new technologies that bring music to consumers in high quality and convenient formats. However, this radio format also has the potential to allow unauthorized reproduction and distribution of near perfect copies of songs. We, as a community, stand together and call on Congress to protect the rights of creators and owners by ensuring content protection for new digital radio distribution services.”

The joint statement was developed after recent educational panel discussions in Nashville, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami among members of the American Association of Independent Music, American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Broadcast Music, Incorporated, Church Music Publishers Association, Gospel Music Association, Harry Fox Agency, Jazz Alliance International, Music Managers Forum-USA, Nashville Songwriters Association International, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, National Music Publishers’ Association, Recording Artists’ Coalition, Recording Industry Association of America, Rhythm & Blues Foundation, SESAC, Songwriters Guild of America and SoundExchange. A subsequent discussion forum will be held Friday in Atlanta.

In addition, Recording Arts Day on Capitol Hill®, the music community's annual advocacy day in Washington held on Wednesday and organized by The Recording Academy, highlighted the “audio flag” among several issues important to the music community. 

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GS