Fair Play Fair Pay Act

Congress members, Jerrold Nadler and Marsha Blackburn have introduced a bill addressing various issues surrounding licensing digital music as well as requiring radio stations to pay royalties to performing artists. The bill dubbed, Fair Play Fair Pay Act, would create a new federal copyright law for “terrestrial performance right for sound recordings,” which would enforce songwriters and artists to be paid for works played on radio.

In addition, Fair Play Fair Pay Act would change how royalty rates are set for satellite and internet music providers. In a statement by Mr. Nadler, he said “The current system is antiquated and broken… It pits technologies against each other and allows certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists.”

While the bill has a good amount of support by many areas of the industry, not all are in favor. In a statement issued by the The Free Radio Alliance, they opposed the act stating, “The performance tax legislation introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler is mostly a patchwork of past proposals, which have failed to pass Congress previously. It’s ironic that the only thing the music industry seems to be able to agree upon is taking more money from others, like radio stations, for themselves.”

For more information on the Fair Play Fair Pay Act go to Billboard or The New York Times

‘Blurred Lines’ Trial Verdict: Jury Rules Against Thicke & Williams

After a year and a half long lawsuit, a federal jury ruled in favor of Marvin Gaye’s estate, finding that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams committed copyright infringement in regards to their hit song “Blurred Lines” plagiarizing Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”  As a result, co-writers, Thicke and Williams will be required to pay Gaye’s children more than $7.3 million.

The case has opened a dialog in both the media and within the music industry regarding the fine line between being inspired by past works and imitating them. In a joint statement responding to the verdict, Thicke and Williams said “we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward.”

While copyright cases are common in the music industry, this particular case is unique for its large damages and because it reached a jury at all. In most cases, patent claims are settled out of court, such as the recent dispute between Tom Petty and Sam Smith over “Stay With Me.”

For more information about this you can see Billboard and The New York Times

RSC at SXSW – Visit Our Panel on Cover Recordings

Mark Spier and Julien Frank will be participating in a panel hosted by Royalty Solutions at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, TX. The panel Cover Recordings: Career Boost or Bust? will take place on Friday, March 20 at 3:30. If you’re going to SXSW we’d love to see you there. You can see the panel description below and in addition, you can visit Give It Away Now: The “Value” In Free Music to find out more about the panel being hosted by our sister company, Memory Lane Music.

Did you know that the Rolling Stones started out covering Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard? Cover recordings and performances can be a great way to showcase your skills and make a name for yourself. YouTube, Glee, and The Voice have created a comeback for the cover, but many artists are reluctant to become known only for their covers. Some even believe there’s a stigma attached. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of starting out with cover recordings and what you can do to get your songs out successfully and legally.

For more information, please visit the SXSW website.