AFTRA Broadcasters Support Artists in Radio Fight

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists supports recording artists and singers who seek a public performance right in sound recordings.
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The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists supports recording artists and singers who seek a public performance right in sound recordings.

In a statement, AFTRA said, “Recording artists, singers and musicians deserve to be fairly compensated when the sound recordings they create are broadcast over the air on terrestrial radio.”

Broadcast members of AFTRA issued a statement of support. “Caucus members agreed that just as broadcasters get paid for work on radio, recording artists and singers should get paid when recordings receive airplay,” they stated. The caucus met during AFTRA’s recent national convention.

In a hearing on the issue before the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property last week, ICBC Broadcast Holdings President/COO Charles Warfield testified for NAB, which considers the right an additional tax on broadcasters.

“We oppose a performance tax because compensation to the record labels and artists is provided under the current system, and the effort to upset the careful balance — envisioned by Congress and beneficial to all parties for the last 80 years — is misguided. The existing model works for one very significant reason: the promotional value that the record labels and artists receive from free airplay on local radio stations drives consumers to purchase music.”

He continued: “While recording industry has seen its profits dip in the new digital world, in no way can that decline be attributed to radio. Just the opposite, local radio is free advertising for record labels and artists and provides the best and most direct way to reach consumers.”

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