The Fair Play Fair Pay Act has been re-introduced to Congress. This legislation would levy a performance royalty for airplay on AM/FM radio. Stations already pay royalties for songwriters/publishers, and the Fair Play Fair Pay Act would add a payment to performers on top of that.
In this iteration of the bill, stations with annual revenue of less than $1 million would get a break with a flat rate of $500 per-year and non-commercial stations would pay a flat $100 per-year for the performance royalty. News-talk and religious stations would pay no performance royalties under this proposal.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, has led the charge for this bill, which has had several efforts to crack through congressional approval. “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,” Nadler said.
The topic of royalties for broadcasting has been a contentious one for the industry for years. Artists and performers want to be compensated, but radio stations have argued that additional fees would pose a serious financial threat. The effort is likely to continue being an uphill battle: 165 House members and 21 Senators have gone on record opposing this type of radio royalty fee.