Volume CVIII, No. 2February, 2008

Finally, performers have a chance at getting paid when their music is heard on the radio. The Performance Rights Act (H.R. 4789, S. 5200), introduced in mid-December, would give musicians the same right that songwriters and publishers now enjoy.

Most musicians know that when they hear music played on traditional over-the-air radio, only the songwriter or publisher gets paid. In Europe, musicians do earn royalties on radio play, but musicians in the U.S. don’t earn a cent.

It’s true that musicians now get paid when their music is streamed on Internet radio stations (Webcasting) or played on satellite radio. But standard radio (also called “terrestrial” radio) has never paid musicians. That’s about to change, with your help.

Ever since sound recordings were made part of copyright law in 1972, the AFM has been trying to get a royalty for performers when music is played on AM and FM radio. With the introduction of the Performance Rights Act, our time has finally come to obtain a performance right in sound recordings.

This will not be an easy fight. The broadcasters are very powerful. That’s why we urge you to click the link below to send a letter to your representatives in Congress. That way, they’ll know that a musician who is their constituent will be affected by this legislation. Thank you very much for your help.

Here’s the link: