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Proponents Push on Royalty

Letter from several organizations compares American radio to ‘countries like China, Iran and North Korea’

Several organizations joined to reiterate their support for a performance royalty.

Writing to Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, prior to Thursday’s committee vote approving the measure, the authors of the letter said they were speaking up “on behalf of the thousands of backup singers, classical musicians and others who work several jobs and know, in their heart of hearts, that they deserve to be paid for their hard work.”

They support the Performance Rights Act, which is opposed by NAB.

“In the United States, only AM/FM radio gets this free ride, because radio’s competitors in the new digital music world pay performers,” they wrote, adding that “American radio stands in stark minority — with countries like China, Iran and North Korea — in denying compensation to performers for the value of their work.”

Signing the letter were officials with the National Hispanic Media Coalition, several state AFL-CIOs, the American Federation of Musicians, the League of Rural Voters, the National Congress of Black Women and others.