Musicians group thanks White House for PRA support


The brief mention of a radio performance royalty in a White House intellectual property white paper earned kudos from musicFIRST’s Tom Matzzie. “We appreciate the Administration’s support and look forward to the day when performers are fairly compensated.”

Matzzie said, “The White House recommendation for a performance right is an important show of support for performers who have been waiting decades for fair pay for airplay. The members of the musicFIRST Coalition thank the administration for their support. A Performance Right for radio airplay is a non-partisan issue with support from the ideological Right, Left and Center. In fact, this administration’s statement follows support from the last several administrations from both parties. The administration support underscores how important a performance right is to U.S. jobs and economic growth.”

Matzzie added, “Music is one of America’s most important cultural exports but, as the new administration white paper indicates, U.S. performers aren’t compensated when music is played on the radio overseas. That is because U.S. radio companies don’t pay a dime to performers. To fix the foreign royalty inequity we need to fix the U.S. royalty inequity. This is money left overseas rather than brought into the U.S. economy. We appreciate the Administration’s support and look forward to the day when performers are fairly compensated.”

In a statement, musicFIRST said its goal “…is to ensure that struggling performers, local musicians, and well-known artists are compensated for their music when it is played both today and in the future.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Let’s just briefly pick a few points apart. This organization says PRA has bipartisan support, “…from the ideological Right, Left and Center.” It neglects to mention that it has equal or greater bipartisan and ideological opposition.

And once again, it hides behind the alleged effort to assist “struggling musicians” when the non-ideological GAO report on the matter showed that the only true beneficiaries of PRA will be recording companies and megastar artists who least require any help.

The fact is that “struggling performers” and “local musicians” will continue to struggle wherever they are located while labels and top-charting artists will divvy up the cash generated in large part via the free promotion provided by radio stations.