SoundExchange Launches Campaign for Royalties on Pre-1972 Recordings
By Glenn Peoples<http://www.billboard.com/author/6325> | May 29, 2014 6:00 AM EDT
"Now SoundExchange is making a push to change how older recordings are treated. On Thursday, the Washington D.C.-based collection society for digital performance royalties launched a multi-pronged campaign aimed at changing the federal law that excludes pre-1972 sound recordings from coverage under statutory licenses used by many digital music services.
Project72 puts front and center a quirk in U.S. copyright law that treats differently songs recorded before and after February 15, 1972. The campaign features a microsite<http://www.Project-72.org/> and an advertisement running in Thursday's issue of Politico. A call to digital radio services to "pay for all the music they play," the advertisement is an open letter from over 70 artists including B.B. King, the Supremes, members of Steely Dan, the Beach Boys, Roseanne Cash, Martha Reeves, Cyndi Lauper and Al Green.
Services that use the statutory license -- Internet radio, satellite radio and cable radio -- are required to pay royalties to SoundExchange. However, the digital performances of pre-1972 recordings are currently subject only to state laws. As such, services such as Pandora and SiriusXM do not pay royalties on pre-1972 recordings.
New legislation will coincide with the launch Project72. The RESPECT Act, to be announced at noon ET on Thursday, will seek to place pre-1972 sound recordings under federal copyright law."