Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and musician John Mayer were honored by the Recording Academy on Wednesday at their annual Grammys on the Hill, in which musicians lobby lawmakers on pending legislative issues of concern to artists. Berman brought up piracy and the Performance Rights Act, the latter a long-sought law that would require broadcast radio stations to compensate performers when their songs are played over the air. The most recent legislation stalled in Congress in 2010, and although there isn’t anything imminent, Berman’s message was that they shouldn’t give up.
“All other radio platforms in the U.S. have to compensate the creator to use the very same music,” he said.
“Songwriters and music publishers rightly do get paid when their song is played on the radio, but the artists and musicians whose music is an integral part of the draw that brings in the ad revenue for the station never gets to give permission or receive a penny from the station that is using their works to make a profit.
“The disparity makes no sense and we should continue advocating for a performance right that ensures that those creators who enhance our lives through their music are rewarded for their contribution.”
Berman was introduced by Jimmy Jam and Pat Collins of SESAC, and Mayer performed with Buddy Guy.
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