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US Copyright Office Endorses Fair Play Fair Pay Act

Music First

US Copyright Office Endorses Fair Play Fair Pay Act

Calls Bipartisan Nadler/Blackburn Bill An "Excellent Legislative Framework"

Lack of a US Performance Right for Sound Recordings is "Indefensible" and "Embarrassing"

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the US Register of Copyrights offered a ringing endorsement of the bipartisan Fair Play Fair Pay Act, calling it an "excellent legislative framework" that would enact key reforms called for in her office's recent Music Licensing Study.

Ms. Pallante singled out the lack of an AM/FM performance right as especially "indefensible" and "embarrassing." "We are out of step with the rest of the world" and this punishes US artists who don't get paid for their international airplay because America refuses to reciprocate, leaving $100 million in annual royalties stranded overseas. "We are just on the wrong side," Ms. Pallante explained.

Ms. Pallante also urged Congress to bring all forms of radio under a single market value rate standard — pointing out the current hodge podge of royalty rules, standards, and grandfathered exceptions is unwieldy and unreasonably difficult to apply. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act would harmonize royalty rates in just this way, ending unfair and economically irrational special treatment like the below market royalty standard currently enjoyed by SiriusXM — which yesterday announced a billion dollars in revenue for the first quarter of 2015 and needs no special protection from Congress.

musicFIRST Executive Director Ted Kalo explained the significance of this development. "Register Pallante is an independent expert who speaks for no industry or special interest, only for good policy. Her endorsement of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act as a smart framework for overdue reform establishes a fundamental truth — this bill is a wise and critically necessary step forward to make music licensing work better for creators, radio services, and fans alike."

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