NFCB, Allies Speak Up for Radio, Music Creators

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters joins allies across community media, including the Prometheus Radio Project, REC Networks and the Alliance for Community Media, to speak up for the support of local creative economies and musical performers in particular.

Introduced Thursday, the American Music Fairness Act seeks to ensure music creators are valued for their efforts in our communities beyond what becomes content on radio. Under the provisions of the American Music Fairness Act, the annual fee that non-commercial broadcasters will pay for sound recording royalties for their over-the-air broadcast will be both affordable ($100) and predictable; it will not go up in the future. Broadcasters with annual budgets under $100,000 will pay even less—only ten dollars—but that low annual fee will help unlock millions of dollars in international royalties for musicians.

“The idea that people need to choose between supporting community radio stations and supporting fair pay for artists is a false choice,” said Ernesto Aguilar, Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. “The American Music Fairness Act is proof that we can do both. This legislation ensures that small and local stations pay an affordable and predictable fee — some as little as $10 per year — to broadcast all the music they need, while also ensuring that artists and music creators get compensated fairly for their hard work. It’s a win-win solution, and we’re proud to support it.”

Our joint statement is below:

As supporters of community broadcasting, including community radio, college radio, and Low Power FM, we’re pleased to support the American Music Fairness Act.

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Deutsch and Rep. Issa ensures that performing musicians will be paid for their work when played on the radio, as is already the case in most of the world.  It also contains important provisions ensuring that small and non-commercial broadcasters will not be unduly burdened.

Under the provisions of the American Music Fairness Act, the annual fee that non-commercial broadcasters will pay for sound recording royalties for their over-the-air broadcast will be both affordable ( $100) and predictable; it will not go up in the future.  Broadcasters with annual budgets under $100,000 will pay even less—only ten dollars— but that low annual fee will help unlock millions of dollars in international royalties for musicians.

America’s vibrant tradition of community radio has helped to elevate and preserve regional sounds, often featuring artists and genres excluded from most commercial radio playlists. Community broadcasters and independent media give voice to the experiences, concerns, and creativity of diverse communities.  This is one reason why musicians have been strong supporters of expanded LPFM opportunities. We believe that the relationship between community broadcasters and musicians should continue to be mutually supportive, and we’re proud to stand together today.

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