AFTRA Supports Members Headlining Senate Hearing
on Public Performance Right for Radio
WASHINGTON (November 13, 2007)---With AFTRA members Lyle Lovett and Alice Peacock testifying today at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Exploring the Scope of Public Performance Rights," the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists--the labor union representing recording artists and singers--affirmed support for compensation for performers through a performance royalty when their music is broadcast on AM and FM radio.
"Recording artists fuel the business that sustains radio in the U.S.," said Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, AFTRA National Executive Director. "Advanced nations recognize artists' value to terrestrial radio. The U.S. has recognized artists' value to satellite and webcast radio. It is time for this last isolated area of inequity--terrestrial radio in the U.S.--to be fixed by establishing the right of recording artists to receive fair compensation for the value they bring to the American airwaves."
Martha Reeves, legendary Motown artist and AFTRA Detroit Local Board Member, said, "We all need the performance money we should be receiving for over-the-air radio play. Artists and musicians make the music come to life and radio has benefited immensely from our talents. I think about my friends--the legendary Carl Gardner of The Coasters who could have used the performance money to help pay for his throat cancer and Eddie Kendricks of The Temptations could have used the money for insurance to cover his burial costs and to provide for his family. We love music, so music should love us back."
In addition to recording artists, AFTRA members include broadcasters, radio hosts, and disc jockeys who support a public performance right for artists. Dan Ingram, Radio Hall of Fame Top 40 disc jockey and AFTRA National Board Member, said, "Since the U.S. opted not to vote for copyright protection for sound recordings many decades ago, we are among only a few countries in the world where a performer doesn't own his own performance. It makes no sense to me that many of the folks being played on the radio, especially on oldies formats, are financially devastated while the radio stations get rich off the performance of their recordings. It's outrageous."
At the Senate hearing, four-time GRAMMY(c) winner Lyle Lovett and singer/songwriter Alice Peacock testified on behalf of the thousands of recording artists who have been shut out of fair royalties when their music is played on over-the-air radio. The AFTRA members highlighted the importance of paying artists for radio airplay.
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 our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society--from new culture to new technology--and incorporate change in our work and craft. AFTRA celebrates and thrives on the diversity of our members and the work we do. AFTRA opens a whole new world of opportunities for success for professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. 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 www.aftra.com.