The American Federation of Musicians Supports Below-Market Royalty Rates to Subsidize Small Webcasters During 2006-2010
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), AFL-CIO expressed support for a proposal made yesterday by SoundExchange to extend below-market rates to certain small webcasters for the current license period of 2006-2010, in order to give them additional time to develop their businesses under subsidized rates. SoundExchange made the proposal on May 22 at the urging of Representatives Howard L. Berman (D-CA) and Howard Coble (R-NC) of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary.
"Most recording musicians, including royalty artists and session musicians, are entrepreneurs themselves," said AFM President Thomas F. Lee. "Fifty percent of the royalties paid by webcasters go to performers, and performers surely need that income stream to make it in their own careers. But they also know from experience that it can be tough to build a business, and they are willing to make some sacrifices to give small webcasters the opportunity to grow and make the world of internet music as diverse and artist-friendly as possible."
The AFM called on the small webcasters and SoundExchange to conclude a deal promptly, and urged small webcasters to turn their attention to full and accurate reporting of the sound recordings they transmit. "Small webcasters all confirm that they want performers to be paid, but many of them fail to file the reports that enable royalty dollars to flow smoothly to the entitled performers," said President Lee. "In return for below-market rates, small webcasters should file the required reports so performers can be paid. Bottom line, musicians' creative work has value and it is important that they be fairly compensated for its use."
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