February 2, 2022
Members of the House Judiciary Committee:
The 117th Congress has been defined by efforts to deliver economic justice for Americans. I am writing to implore you to ensure that we achieve economic justice for the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans who make a living making the music we love.
Because you probably have friends or family who are music creators, you know firsthand how difficult the life of an artist can be. Many live paycheck to paycheck. In so many ways they are the small businesses we all root for. But as a country we have not treated them with respect.
For decades, music creators have been denied the respect of being paid for when their songs are played on AM/FM radio. This injustice cannot stand. You have before your committee the American Music Fairness Act, which both rectifies this injustice and protects other small businesses we cherish - small community broadcast companies - by capping what they’d have to pay in royalties to play music. In most cases, these stations would pay $500 or less per year.
The American Music Fairness Act is good legislation. It honors our workers while protecting businesses that legitimately need consideration. In doing so, the bill creates certainty that both music creators and broadcast companies need to plan for a successful future.
Like the cause of economic justice, this legislation is a long time in coming. Now is the time, and we hope that you will be on the right side of history and vote for the American Music Fairness Act so we can have a more fair and respectful music industry.
Elizabeth H. Shuler