Friday, May 13, 2016


Conyers & Four Tops Founding Member Duke Fakir Call on Congress to Pass Fair Play Fair Pay Act

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) joined U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) as well as legendary Four Tops founding member, Duke Fakir, T Bone Burnett, Roseanne Cash, and more than three dozen artists and musicians at a press conference in support of H.R. 1733, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. The legislation would harmonize and modernize the outdated rules that currently govern music licensing for digital and terrestrial radio broadcasts.

Dean of the U..S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“Detroit has many legacy artists who have never received fair compensation for their groundbreaking contributions to the music industry,” said Ranking Member John Conyers. “Failing to adequately pay artists and musicians, undermines their potential to create music. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act would provide long-overdue fairness for artists regardless of when their music was recorded or where it is played.” 

Key components of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act:

·         Creates a terrestrial performance right so that AM/FM radio competes on equal footing with its Internet and satellite competitors who already pay performance royalties. This would resolve the decades old struggle for performance rights and ensure that – for the first time – music creators would have the right to fair pay when their performances are broadcast on AM/FM radio.

·         Brings true platform parity to radio – so that all forms of radio, regardless of the technology they use – pay fair market value for music performances. This levels the playing field and ends the unfair and illogical distortions caused by the different royalty standards that exist today.

·         Ensures terrestrial royalties are affordable capping royalties for stations with less than $1 million in annual revenue at $500 per year (and at $100 a year for non-commercial stations), while protecting religious and incidental uses of music from having to pay any royalties at all.

·         Makes a clear statement that pre-1972 recordings have value and those who are profiting from them must pay appropriate royalties for their use, while we closely monitor the litigation developments on this issue.

·         Protects songwriters and publishers by clearly stating that nothing in this bill can be used to lower songwriting royalties.

·         Codifies industry practices streamlining the allocation of royalty payments to music producers.

·         Ensures artists receive their fair share from direct licensing of all performances eligible for the statutory license.

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