Service + Solidarity Spotlight: AFM Calls on Congress to Pass Fair Pay Legislation for Musicians

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Musicians and vocalists do not receive a single cent when their recordings are broadcast on AM and FM radio stations. Incredibly, the United States is one of only a handful of countries (including Iran, North Korea and China) that has no law requiring a broadcast performance royalty to be paid to artists, musicians and singers. The American Music Fairness Act (H.R. 4130), now pending in Congress, is designed to remedy that and provide royalty payments to artists, session musicians and vocalists when their recordings are broadcast over AM and FM radio.

On Wednesday, Dave Pomeroy, president of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 257 in Nashville, Tennessee, testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, urging representatives to take action on behalf of music creators across the country. “Music is one of the United States’ greatest exports, and its positive impact on our economy and the everyday lives of Americans is immeasurable,” Pomeroy said. “But what is measurable is the billions of dollars that U.S. terrestrial radio makes on the backs of those who create the content that drives their advertising revenue.”