WASHINGTON (April 25, 2006)—The four leading organizations representing recording artists today joined together to support copyright reforms introduced by a bi-partisan group of senators that will protect compensation to artists and ensure a thriving environment for the legal digital music marketplace.
The American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), The Recording Academy, and the Recording Artists’ Coalition (RAC) endorsed amendments to Section 114 of the Copyright Act introduced today by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bill Frist (R-TN), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
The legislation would protect performers’ income from sales and transmissions of their recordings by requiring content protection measures in digital transmissions and by providing platform parity in the licensing measures that apply to various types of digital music services. The legislation also requires that uncertainties in the licensing of sound recordings for use on the Internet be resolved.
The organizations praised the senators in a joint statement: “As representatives of recording artists and copyright owners, we deeply appreciate the tremendous effort and commitment that Senators Feinstein, Frist, and Graham have demonstrated in working to resolve these vital issues, and we look forward to assisting them in any way we can to find a solution.”
The sound recording artist coalition groups intend to submit testimony supporting the bi-partisan amendments at a Senate Judiciary hearing on April 26, 2006.
AFM President Thomas F. Lee said, "Recording musicians will play their hearts out for music lovers, music partners, and the world at large, but transmissions of their recorded work must be decently compensated and reasonably protected for them to afford to perform. The AFM welcomes this legislation as a step toward those goals.”
AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth said, “Radical developments in the transmission of digital music have created an urgent need for legislation to protect artists’ property interests in their recordings and ensure they are fairly compensated regardless of the platform over which their music is played. AFTRA is encouraged by this move towards protecting the artists whose music fuels this industry.”
The Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said, “New technologies for delivering music continue to present exciting opportunities—as well as serious challenges—for music creators. We applaud the work of Senators Feinstein, Frist and Graham who seek to ensure that recording professionals who create music will be protected and compensated as these new technologies enter the marketplace. We look forward to continuing our work with the Senators to assure passage of The PERFORM Act.”
Recording Artists’ Coalition National Director Rebecca Greenberg said, “Recording artists will greatly benefit from the new platform parity rules, which will create an even playing field between the webcasters and radio broadcasters. The Feinstein legislation would guarantee that artists receive a fair market price for their music, and would pave the way for the introduction of new and innovative webcasting and radio services and programs, which will in turn benefit artists.”
About the organizations:
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. Whether it is negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying our legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is a diverse, national union representing over 70,000 professional performers and broadcasters, 14,000 of whom are sound recording artists. Protecting and expanding the intellectual property rights of sound recording artists is a vital component of the AFTRA legislative agenda. AFTRA also negotiates with record labels to secure better health, retirement, and other benefits for recording artists. www.aftra.com
Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as The Recording Academy®, is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY® Awards, The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services.
Recording Artists' Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition formed to represent the interests of recording artists with regard to legislative issues in which corporate and artists’ issues conflict, and to address other public policy debates that come before the music industry.