As MTP readers will recall, Representative Jerry Nadler has been a true voice for artist rights in Congress, particularly on artist pay for radio play. He was an early fan of the #irespectmusic campaign and took time to speak at the first #irespectmusic show at the Bitter End in New York.
Rep. Nadler introduced the Fair Play, Fair Pay bill in the last session of Congress. Fair Play Fair Pay would have established a performance right and royalty for terrestrial radio and fixed a number of other hangnails. The bill was, of course, met with fierce opposition by the National Association of Broadcasters and Big Tech, which resulted in the formation of the MIC Coalition–to stop fair pay for creators.
After the MIC Coalition formed to stop his legislation, I was, frankly, wondering if he’d come back for more to fight against companies with over $2 trillion in market cap like Google, Pandora, Clear Channel (now iHeart) and crucially multiple trade associations that themselves represent trillions more.
But today he is back! Rep. Nadler has reintroduced the Fair Play, Fair Pay bill and we keep the fight for fundamental fairness going. And Rep. Nadler is joined by a bi-partisan line up of co-sponsors with other long time supporters of the creative community like Representatives John Conyers, Marsha Blackburn, Darryll Issa, Ted Deutch and Tom Rooney.
None of this would be possible without the tremendous outpouring of support for artist rights from music makers and music lovers across the country–and indeed around the world. Because as a great man once said, things are only impossible until they’re not.
That support is measured many ways from the 14,000 of you who signed the #irespectmusic petition, to the thousands of you who read and shared posts by Karoline Kramer Gould, Janita, Blake Morgan, David Lowery, Mark Ribot, East Bay Ray and the growing number of voices demanding that the U.S. joyfully turn the page on this historic abnormality and the crony capitalists at the MIC Coalition. All of you who created and follow the #irespectmusic groups in Buffalo, Athens, Austin, Nashville, New York, Minneapolis, Pittsburg and Los Angeles. All the students at schools like Cal State Chico, NYU, American, Georgetown, Syracuse and Temple.
The musicFIRST coalition and Executive Director Chris Israel also deserves a huge vote of thanks for their efforts at getting this bill introduced. We’re all looking forward to working closely with Chris Israel and his team to get this passed. You haven’t stopped believing this can happen and neither have they.
This all comes down to a simple concept:
We will be back with more as the cause moves forward, but we couldn’t ask for better champions in the Congress to fix these glaring loopholes: fair pay for airplay and paying all artists regardless of whether the recording was made before or after 1972.
You can send Rep. Nadler a message @repjerrynadler, more info to follow.
This is a joyful moment, so let that joy become enthusiasm as we all pull together to get this done. We don’t stop until we win.
I asked Blake Morgan for his thoughts:
The hard work of thousands upon thousands of music makers is paying off. That work––in classrooms, at concerts, at rallies, on the street, online, with petitions, and on Capitol Hill––has now brought us closer that we’ve ever been to winning fair pay for American artists when their work is played on the radio. The “Fair Play Fair Pay Act” would ensure all music makers are paid fairly at all forms of radio. Music is one of the things America still makes that the world still wants. The people who make that music should be paid fairly for their work.