New Legislation Would Require Digital Broadcasters to Pay Royalties for Pre-1972 Recordings…

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New legislation regarding pre-1972 recordings has been taken to the House of Representatives.

As of now, digital radio broadcasters such as Sirius XM and Pandora can play music that was recorded before February 15th, 1972 without paying royalties.

This bill would amend copyright law, so that older recordings get the same royalty payout as newer ones.

The bill is called the RESPECT Act and is sponsored by Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.) and John Conyers (D-Mich).

Conyers says:

“Digital radio stations that earn millions off Motown classics but fail to pay royalties to the artists who recorded them are withholding hard-earned profits from deserving musicians. Refusing retired artists royalties from digital radio stations is particularly unfair.  The RESPECT Act keeps faith with these living legends of American music – the famous greats and the less known musicians who supported them – and makes sure they get a fair shake.”

SoundExchange, the non-profit royalty distribution organization, has introduced a new online campaign to bring attention to this issue. The campaign is called Project 72 and includes a website and online advertisements.

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Project 72’s website has a list of artists that support the RESPECT act. The site also urges visitors to show support by contacting their member of Congress.

Project 72 says that in 2013 alone, royalty payouts for pre-1972 recordings would have totaled $60 million.

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    My question is, why does HD Radio keep getting a free pass?

  2. TuneHunter

    US Patents have 20 year life span – same should apply to music.

    Let’s create efficient and fair to all monetization machine and stop payouts for anything over 20.

    • Anonymous

      For the first time ever, you and I agree on something.

      • Anonymous

        Hahaa, I had the exact same thought!

        Except I would go for 50. But hey, that’s just a number and it could be debated.

        At any rate, 70 + life is silly.

        • TuneHunter

          Old dogs with unleashed DJs would still make a fortune in Discovery Moment Monetization mode!

          It would’t discriminate EXPIRED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – fair and profitable to all environment.

          …and yes, 20 years is perfect – inventors deliver often more than musicians, so way this preference!

  3. Sam @ Projekt

    Isn’t this the point where somebody brings up Walt Disney and starts ranting about Copyrights? : )