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February 13, 2018 | RIAA News

Historic Coalition of 213 Musical Artists Calls on Congress to Pass CLASSICS Act, Fix the "Pre-1972" Loophole for Legacy Artists

Music Organizations Press Congress to Consolidate Widely Backed Music Licensing Reforms Into Single Bill

WASHINGTON, February 13, 2018 — An unprecedented coalition of 213 musical artists, supported by eight leading music organizations, called upon the U.S. Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act, bipartisan legislation pending in both the House and Senate to address one of copyright law’s most glaring loopholes.

In a two-page advertisement that will appear in Wednesday’s Politico, the artists state:

Digital radio makes billions of dollars a year from airplay of music made before Feb. 15, 1972. Yet, because of an ambiguity in state and federal copyright laws, artists and copyright owners who created that music receive nothing for the use of their work. The CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301 / S. 2393) would correct this inequity and finally ensure that musicians and vocalists who made those timeless songs finally get their due. We urge Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act and other pro-artist reforms quickly.

The advertisement marks the start of a robust advocacy campaign by artists and music community leaders A2IM, American Federation of Musicians, Content Creators Coalition, musicFIRST Coalition, Recording Academy, Recording Industry Association of America, SAG-AFTRA and SoundExchange.

The ad can be viewed here.

The CLASSICS Act is an essential component of a package of music licensing reforms supported by the organizations that includes additional critical reforms such as the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 4706 / S. 2334), the AMP Act (H.R. 881) and the establishment of market-based rate standards. In the coming weeks, music community leaders anticipate the House Judiciary Committee will commence formal consideration of the music licensing reform legislation with the goal of consolidating the key reforms into a single bill.

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A2IM contact:

Dawn Kamerling / (646) 322-4903 / dawn@thepresshouse.com

American Federation of Musicians contact:

Rose Ryan / 917-229-0239 / rryan@afm.org

Content Creators Coalition contact:

Eric Jotkoff / 202-748-5342 / Eric@lawmedia.net

musicFIRST Coalition contact:

Isabel Rollison / 202-400-2611 / rollison@jdafrontline.com

RIAA contact:

Cara Duckworth Weiblinger / 202-775-0101/ cduckworth@riaa.com

Jonathan Lamy / 202-775-0101 / jlamy@riaa.com

SAG-AFTRA contact:

Pamela Greenwalt​ / 323-440-2892/ Pamela.Greenwalt@sagaftra.org

SoundExchange contact:

Sophia Majlessi / 202-696-1832 / smajlessi@soundexchange.com