Leveling The Playing Field With The Fair Play Fair Pay Act
Daryl P. Friedman
Fair play, fair pay. It’s a simple concept. And we’re finally seeing it applied in a comprehensive bill legislating pay parity for music creators.
Today representatives of The Recording Academy are standing by in New York City as Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), a longtime supporter of fair compensation for music creators and the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduces the aptly named Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015. This new legislation is the culmination of years of grassroots lobbying by our membership on a slate of individual issues. It also is the result of coordinated effort between The Recording Academy – which first called for a comprehensive, united approach to solving pay inequities for music professionals at GRAMMYs on the Hill in 2014 – and other music stakeholders, including SoundExchange, A2IM, the American Federation of Musicians, SAG-AFTRA, the RIAA, and many others.
As the only national membership organization to represent all music creators, The Recording Academy is particularly gratified by The Fair Play Fair Pay Act because it addresses four previously separate parity issues within one encompassing piece of legislation. First, the bill would establish a process for setting fair-market royalty rates; create a performance right for artists on terrestrial radio; close the pre-1972 loophole to see that veteran performers receive royalties; and codify royalty payments to music producers for the first time. This bill levels the playing field so that creators can get fair pay.
The timing of this bill introduction couldn’t be better. Just two days after Fair Play Fair Pay is unveiled, members of The Recording Academy from across the country will come together in Washington this Wednesday, April 15, for the 2015 GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards, where Congressman Nadler will be saluted for his dedication to championing rights for music creators alongside another intellectual property rights crusader on Capitol Hill, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and an artist who has also championed creators’ rights, Alicia Keys. And the day after that, 200 GRAMMY advocates from our 12 Chapters will converge on Capitol Hill in more than 70 meetings to ask lawmakers to support the Fair Play Fair Pay Act and other issues of importance to music professionals.
The Fair Play Fair Pay Act represents a welcome approach to solving the disparate copyright and royalty dilemmas that have unfairly impacted music creators. And it is thanks to the dedication of our 24,000-strong membership, and the power of The Recording Academy’s grassroots advocacy efforts, that real progress toward fair pay for all music creators will be made.