Wednesday, January 7, 2009

FMC's Ann Chaitovitz on the Public Performance Right in Huffington Post

FMC Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz just published a piece in the Huffington Post about the need for the Public Performance Right on terrestrial radio.

If you've followed our work for a while, you'll probably be familiar with our support of this right, which would pay performing artists (and their labels) for the use of their music on over-the-air broadcasts. You can read our fact sheet on the Performance right here.)

In her article, Ann offers compelling moral and economic reasons for lifting radio's current exemption:

Just like all other types of U.S. copyrighted works, sound recordings should have a performance right. Entertainment is America's number one export, yet the U.S. stands alone in the industrialized world by not requiring radio stations to pay for the use of copyrighted sound recordings — putting us in such exalted company as North Korea, Iraq and Iran. Call it an axis of exploitation.

The new Congress should quickly redress this inequity. In this time of economic recession, it is especially important for the U.S. economy -- American artists and labels will not receive their share of foreign royalties until sound recordings have a performance right in the U.S.

She also points out the fact while webcasters and other online music services pay performing artists, commercial terrestrial radio does not, creating an inequity in the royalty environment that affords traditional broadcasters a market advantage. But it's really about the performing artists themselves. "The situation can have tragic consequences for older R&B and soul artists, American cultural icons who deserve and need compensation," Ann says.

Read the full piece here.

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