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Royalty Bill Is Introduced in Congress Once Again

The AMFA made it out of the Judiciary Committee in December

The American Music Fairness Act has been introduced in Congress, again. 

The respective sides on the issue put out statements echoing what they’ve been saying over many years. The question is whether this proposal has more legs this time around.

The AMFA was reported out favorably by the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee in December. It was not included in the final federal appropriations bill, but proponents were pleased. 

On the reintroduction, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said, “We applaud Reps. Issa, Nadler, McClintock and Lieu and Sens. Padilla, Blackburn, Feinstein and Tillis” for reintroducing it and cited “historic progress” last year on the legislation, which would impose payments from radio broadcasters to artists, performers, producers and other music makers of sound recordings.

NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt called it “one-sided legislation” and said the bill would “destroy” what has been a “strong, mutually beneficial partnership that has endured for over a century,” ensuring that music reaches consumers via radio’s “uniquely free service.” LeGeyt said the two sides need to negotiate further.

NAB has said in the past that it has ample support among legislators, as measured by signatures on the Local Radio Freedom Act, though that is a non-binding resolution.

[Related: “Radio and Performers Are Back, Arguing Over Royalties,” Feb. 2022]