a 2 i m

Statement from musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel Marking pre-72 anniversary


Contact: Adam Temple
(202) 400-2610
[email protected]

Statement from musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel Marking pre-72 anniversary

Washington, D.C. – musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel issued the following statement today, which marks 44 years of antiquated copyright laws:

“Consumers’ preferences for how they access music have changed dramatically in recent years. Sadly, our copyright system hasn’t kept pace. Our antiquated laws treat artists’ works differently depending on the platform we’re using to listen to their recordings.

“While the inadequacies of our system are evident every day, today marks the 44th anniversary of one of our system’s most egregious flaws. Thanks to a quirk in U.S. law, songs recorded before this date in 1972 do not have federal copyright protection, and that is a huge problem. Up to 15 percent of all the music on some digital radio services was recorded before February 15, 1972. Streaming, satellite and FM radio have entire channels dedicated to this iconic music, yet this anomaly in U.S. law allows them to use pre-72 music without requiring them to compensate the artists whose recordings they play on the air. Many older artists have been forced to pursue fair compensation in a variety of state courts. This is extremely inefficient, unfair and unnecessary. Simple legislation will address this clear problem.

“This Congress provides a historic opportunity to fix the flaws of our current copyright system and treat music the same regardless of when it was recorded or how we listen to it. Protecting pre-72 sound recordings, establishing a performance right for radio and establishing rate standard parity across various digital platforms enjoy broad bi-partisan support in Congress. We look forward to engaging Congress and all other industry stakeholders to ensure music creators are compensated fairly for their works across all platforms.”

To learn more about musicFIRST and the effort to ensure that music artists receive fair compensation for use of their creative property in the new music landscape, visit www.musicfirstcoalition.org/home



Check out SoundExchange’s Mike Huppe speak on pre 72 recordings here!

About A2IM:
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

Learn more about A2IM here.
For information about how to join our community, see here.