Billboard reports the United States is one of only several countries where artists don’t receive a performance royalty when their song is played on terrestrial radio. While songwriters receive airplay royalties, musicians who perform on a song and artists have never been compensated in the U.S.
Furthermore, when an American artist's music is played on the radio internationally, performance royalties for the artist are withheld, even if that country has different laws in place, leaving millions of unclaimed dollars on the table.
This is an issue artists and labels have fought with terrestrial radio over for decades.
When sound recording became copyrighted under law in 1972, radio broadcasters were able to claim an exemption from paying performance royalties on the grounds that the free exposure artists' gained from radio play lead to record sales and was payment enough. For the first time since 1976 Congress is reviewing and rewriting copyright law with could present a new opportunity for a change in legislation.
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