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Copyright Law: Ask Musicians for Music Act (AM-FM Act) Introduced in Congress


On November 21st, 2019, the Ask Musicians for Music Act (AM-FM Act) was introduced into congress. The bill, which seeks to reform the copyright regulations for terrestrial radio, is backed by a bipartisan group of legislators, including Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Jerry Nadler (D-New York). In this article, our experienced Miami copyright litigation attorneys explain what you need to know about the Ask Musicians for Music Act (AM-FM Act).

An Overview of the AM-FM Act 

Radio Stations Would Be Required to Pay Market Value for Recordings 

As copyright law currently exists in the United States, radio stations can play sound recordings without paying the standard royalties to the people and companies who control all or part of the rights to the song. The AM-FM Act would amend the law to ensure that artists get access to the standard market value for their work. Indeed, the bill’s lead sponsors are pushing the copyright law reform on the grounds that singers, songwriters, and musicians should be rewarded for their creativity and hard work. 

Music Industry Support for Copyright Reform 

The bill is strongly supported by the leaders of the music industry. On the day that the AM-FM Act was introduced in Congress, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) came out in favor of the bill. As explained by the organization’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mitch Glazier, the legislation “addresses inequities” that exist within our current copyright laws.

Broadcast Industry Opposition to the Law 

To be clear, not everyone is in favor of the proposed reforms. While the RIAA and other groups came out in favor of the bill, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has raised a sharp opposition to the possible reforms. Another group of senators and congress members are supporting the Local Radio Freedom Act, which would keep radio stations exempt from some of the key aspects of copyright law. 

The Bill Does Have Bipartisan Support  

While there is no guarantee that the AM-FM Act will become law, it is notable that the bill has a significant support from members of both parties—no easy feat in this political climate. Copyright law is often an issue that crosses traditional party lines. The proposed law’s lead sponsors, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn and New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, come from nearly polar opposite sides of the political spectrum. Our South Florida copyright attorneys will keep a close eye on this bill and any other developments in intellectual property law. If you have questions about copyright law and your rights or obligations, we are here to help.

Speak to Our Miami, FL Copyright Lawyers for Immediate Assistance

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida attorneys handle the full range of copyright law and copyright litigation cases. To find out more about what we can do for you, please contact us today. We represent individuals and businesses in copyright law matters in Miami, West Palm Beach, and throughout the surrounding area in Southeastern Florida.




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