Ahead of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, Dickey Betts, founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, released the following statement calling for music fairness and just compensation and treatment of artists by major radio corporations:
“This weekend, as we celebrate the induction of legendary artists into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s worth remembering that music creators are still not paid by AM/FM radio when their songs are played over the air. That’s just wrong. As we stand up and applaud the careers of star performers, we also should take this moment to stand up for music creators who aren’t fairly compensated for their work. Major media companies rake in billions of dollars in advertising and yet refuse to pay artists a dime when their music is played. The American Music Fairness Act is before Congress and would rectify this wrong. As we celebrate our diverse musical culture, we should be doing right by the artists behind the music and paying them for their contributions.”
By a 2-1 margin, Americans also believe it’s unfair that artists are not paid when their music is played on traditional radio, according to a recent national survey. However, the lack of understanding of the plight of music creators has made it easier for the corporations that control radio stations to get away with this injustice, as a full 60% of Americans report they were not aware that music creators were not paid when their music is played on FM/AM stations.
Congress has a chance to fix this by passing the American Music Fairness Act, which would require radio stations to compensate artists when their songs are broadcast.
Photo by Simone Berna: Dickey Betts at the Pistoia Blues Festival, Italy July 2008.