musicFIRST Responds to the Free Market Royalty Act…

As represented by Congressman Mel Watt, the Free Market Royalty Act creates an AM/FM performance right for sound recordings.  “This is the biggest step forward in music creators’ rights in a generation,” the bill legislation declares.  “It creates a true free market for digital and AM/FM broadcasters, empowering music creators and users to negotiate for broadcast rights at a price the market determines.  And it preserves the critical role of SoundExchange in protecting artists through direct payment and a statutory 50/50 split of royalties.”

The musicFIRST Coalition’s Executive Director Ted Kalo issued a statement in support of the Free Market Royalty Act. Here are a few excerpts…


  • Save


“After the 2009 bill passed Congressional committees, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and music creators reached an agreement on performance rights that broadcasters ultimately walked away from… This bill sends all parties back to the bargaining table to find common ground…

“In a transparent effort to thwart music creators having a performance right enshrined in law, the NAB has heralded what it calls ‘negotiations that are driven by the free market’ as a substitute for Performance Rights legislation…

“But there is no market for performance rights.  The handful of deals between broadcasters and record labels that have been done can only be understood as a renegotiation of the webcasting rates since creators do not have any AM/FM performance right to negotiate.”


“Simply put, there is no such thing as a market for the performance of music on terrestrial radio when there is no performance right.”


“Because of NAB lobbying, music creators’ performance property right has been taken away and given to broadcasters before the negotiations even begin.   It’s no surprise they want to keep it that way.  Rather than providing a substitute for legislation, as some have suggested, the Clear Channel private deals appear to have inspired it.

“We believe the current statutory license system is a benefit to music creators and services, and we support the current system.  But those services who benefit most from it are its greatest critics, and those broadcasters who use the ‘market’ as a dodge to thwart a performance right have done the most to undermine a true, free market…”


3 Responses

  1. TuneHunter

    Internet and current technology allows to convert Radio in to the best music retail operation ever. This conversion will kill also most of the piracy
    Radio should be the last entity to pay anything for music!
    Radio (all types together) contributes to 80+% of discovery and if we switch to Discovery Moment Monetization it will be and should be the labels who pay to Radio to lubricate their cash flow.

    • hippydog

      sorry, your “Discovery Moment Monetization” doesnt work, and you seem unable to answer the simpler questions on it..
      maybe you should work out all the details of your idea FIRST before cosntantly spamming the forum..

  2. radidio

    Radio says they make the artist. Artists say they make radio. I think the answer is here:
    “allow radio stations a certain number of “free” plays per day/week/month. Say a radio station could play a song twice a day for free, but they have to pay royalties on the third spin—would they be more or less likely to play it a third time? I guess that would depend on the song. You could apply any play-count you want or make it weekly or monthly, and the principle is all the same. It would encourage radio stations to not only play a greater variety of music, but would result in less costs, and thusly (assuming station owners put their greed aside a second) less commercials. Less commercials mean more time for music, which means more time for more variety. More music and less commercials means more listeners. It’s the same cyclical result, but in a much more positive direction for the music industry and the listeners. Everybody wins.”