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AFTRA Applauds Decision Upholding Royalty Rates for Recording Artists

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 16, 2007)—The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists praised the decision today by the Copyright Royalty Board denying webcasters' request for a rehearing on the ruling that set payments to artists for use of sound recordings on the Internet.

"AFTRA recording artists applaud the Copyright Royalty Board for upholding their decision on Internet radio," said Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, AFTRA National Executive Director. "When artists perform music, they create a product. They deserve to be paid fairly for the use of the creativity, talent, and hard work they put into making that product. Internet radio is growing and successful because fans want to listen to the music created by artists. The CRB's decision recognizes that as these businesses grow, both featured and non-featured artists should be compensated at fair market rates for their contributions to the growth of these services."

The ruling—handed down by the Copyright Royalty Board, a three-judge panel appointed by the U.S. Copyright Office—upholds royalty rates from 2006 to 2010 that Internet webcasters such as AOL and Yahoo have to pay artists and labels for the use of their music. 

AFTRA represents royalty artists and session singers who work with more than 1,200 recording companies, including the four major labels—Sony/BMG, Warner, EMI, and Universal Music Group—and most of their subsidiary labels through the AFTRA Sound Recordings Code, a nationwide agreement in place since the early 1950s.

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About AFTRA:

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society—from new culture to new technology—and incorporate change in their work and craft. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at