Up to 15% of all music played by digital radio services was recorded before 1972. In certain genres, the percentage is even higher.
Some of the biggest digital radio companies have decided to stop paying royalties to artists who recorded music before this time. That includes the hitmakers of Motown, the legends of Jazz & Blues, and the people who gave birth to Rock n' Roll. Why would these services choose to disrespect the legacy artists whose work inspired the generations of artists who came after them? Based on their interpretation of copyright law, these companies believe that they can use pre-1972 recordings for free, forever.
Each year, this practice causes artists and record labels to lose $60 to $80 million in royalties. Half of these royalties would be paid directly into the pockets of artists.
Classic artists and their record labels have filed lawsuits under Florida, New York, and California state laws to protect their rights. But it is unfair to force them to drag digital music services into court to be paid for the use of their work. While these lawsuits have resulted in over $300 million in settlements, federal legislation is the only long-term answer to this problem.
This is a matter of fairness. Stand with us for the artists who inspire you and the generations of artists who follow in their footsteps.
Tell Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act so digital radio services are required to treat legacy artists with respect!