White House Pushing For Radio Performance Royalty

The Obama Administration is pushing for legislation to ensure artists are paid when their sound recordings are played over the radio. The recommendation came earlier this week as part of a white paper released by White House U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel. The 20-page memo was sent to Congress.

This ongoing debate about the performance royalty has been a hot-button issue in the music business in recent years. Radio stations and their trade group the National Association of Broadcasters have been fighting the royalty, arguing that playing the artist’s music is free advertisement for the act, which in turn drives sales. Meanwhile, record labels and artists have been arguing to have the performance royalty instituted, arguing that without music to play, radio stations wouldn’t attract as many listeners.

Another key point in the new white paper, is a recommendation to make illegal streaming a felony offense.

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Category: Featured, Financial/Legal, Radio

About the Author

Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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