AFM lobies against bill that would pay musicians less on internet radio

AFM press release

Volume 113, No. 1January, 2013

The AFM is pleased to announce that its lobbying efforts against H.R. 6480, the Internet Radio Fairness Act (IRFA), achieved positive results at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the bill. The hearing by the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, held in late November, included strong testimony against the bill. In the past few weeks, hundreds of AFM members sent letters to Congress expressing their opposition to IRFA.
In the hearing, many committee members expressed skepticism toward the argument by radio webcasters that Internet streaming rates are too high and that recording artists and professional musicians should subsidize their business by receiving less. Several members also brought up the unfairness of terrestrial (AM/FM) radio paying nothing for sound recording use, another long-standing concern of the AFM. Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) said that radio has to come to terms with the need to pay for music.
“This hearing reinforced the AFM’s position that any discussion of rate parity or fairness must address the fact that AM/FM radio pays nothing to artists for the music they bring to the world,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “The fair solution is to correct the inequities in royalty rates by requiring all platforms to pay fair market rates under the Performance Rights legislation that we lobbied for – not to simply lower rates for Internet radio.”