02/02/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/02/2023 15:19
Today, allies of the major record labels introduced legislation in Congress to levy new fees on local radio stations simply for playing music. The so-called American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) would upend the long-standing relationship between local radio and performers and threaten the viability of hometown radio stations and the communities they serve.
Radio stations are dedicated to local service and invest their profits in their work and local economies. That includes providing local news, weather, traffic and emergency information; sponsoring local concerts and festivals; supporting food, clothing and blood drives; building relationships with local businesses and promoting charities that help neighbors in need. New fees could devastate these critical services as well as the mutually beneficial partnership radio and performers have enjoyed for nearly a century.
The AMFA disregards the value of radio and would impose new fees on local stations without balancing marketplace realities.
Radio stations already pay hundreds of millions of dollars in music licensing royalties each year that go to songwriters, music publishers, performers and record labels. A true win-win solution doesn't simply create a new burdensome royalty for local stations; it enables broadcasters to innovate, incentivizes them to play more music and benefits performers by compensating them for that increased airplay whether it takes place over-the-air or through a stream.
Broadcasters have repeatedly sought to negotiate with the recording industry and discuss a licensing system that serves performers, labels and stations. But the big record labels have rebuffed those attempts, making clear they're not interested in finding a win-win solution - they're interested in a simple cash grab.
And now, the record labels are pushing the same legislation that stalled in the last Congress without widespread support. Not only does the AMFA have just a handful of cosponsors, but last Congress more than 250 bipartisan members of the House and Senate supported the Local Radio Freedom Act, a resolution opposing new performance fees on radio.
Click here to tell your legislators that you want them to keep local radio strong by supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act and opposing the AMFA.