LSM Newswire

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada Urges Immediate Passage of the Performance Rights Act


The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada Urges

Immediate Passage of the Performance Rights Act

New York, NY The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is urging Congress to pass the Performance Rights Act, which will provide a full performance right for sound recordings broadcast over traditional AM/FM Radio.

The overwhelming majority of performers are not rich, but hardworking men and women trying to make a living, said AFM President Tom Lee. A source of income is being denied to these men and women by over-the-air AM/FM radio, which gets its advertising revenue and listeners from the popularity of their recorded music. The Performance Rights Act would give performers a fair recognition of the value their work brings to radio. A royalty payment of just a fraction of a cent per song would have a big impact on working musicians.

Currently, musicians are not paid when their music is broadcast over traditional AM/FM radio. The Performance Rights Act seeks to rectify this longstanding inequity in copyright law.

On behalf of AFM and myself, Id like to personally thank Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Conyers Jr. for introducing the Performance Rights Act bill and recognizing how important it is to ensure that performers get paid for their hard work, said Lee. I now urge Congress to pass this measure as quickly as possible.

AFM would also like to thank the following co-sponsors: Representatives Darrell Issa; Howard Berman; Marsha Blackburn; Jane Harman; John Shadegg and Paul Hodes; and Senators Orrin Hatch; Dianne Feinstein; Bob Corker and Barbara Boxer.

ABOUT THE AFM

Founded in 1896, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), AFL-CIO, is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. With more than 90,000 members, the AFM represents all types of professional musicians, including those who record music for sound recordings, film scores, radio, television and commercial announcements, as well as perform music of every genre in every sort of venue from small jazz clubs to symphony orchestra halls to major stadiums. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape. www.afm.org

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) Endorses Michael Dorf for NEA Chairman


The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM)

Endorses Michael Dorf for NEA Chairman

New York, NY (January 14, 2009) The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), AFL-CIO has officially endorsed Michael Dorf for Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

On behalf of our 90,000 members, the AFM urges President-elect Obama to appoint Michael Dorf to the position of Chairman of the NEA in the very near future, said Thomas F. Lee, AFM international president. After reviewing Mr. Dorf's background in the arts, his accomplishments in support of the arts, and his ability to mobilize organizations to support the arts as he did in his native Chicago and elsewhere, the AFM believes that he will best be able to lead the NEA during this difficult time in our nation's history.

The economic problems that are pulling down our economy must be a priority, but not to the extent that the arts are left out, Lee continued. Every $1 spent on the arts produces $7 in return so the arts must not be left out of the solution to our troubled economy.

Mr. Dorf is a dedicated individual and his entire life has revolved around some aspect of arts support and education. He served as co-convener of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee, the official arts policy committee of the presidential campaign. He also served as Legal Affairs Consultant to the President's Independent Commission on the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 and as General Counsel to the Democratic Party of Illinois from 1993-1997. He worked as Special Counsel to former Representative Sidney Yates and helped to develop federal arts funding policies. He developed the first Cultural Plan for Chicago. He teaches about the arts and public policy. And, Mr. Dorf chairs or serves on Illinois organizations at the intersection of public policy and the arts. His experience thus spans the federal, state and local levels.

ABOUT THE AFM

Founded in 1896, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), AFL-CIO, is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. With more than 90,000 members, the AFM represents all types of professional musicians, including those who record music for sound recordings, film scores, radio, television and commercial announcements, as well as perform music of every genre in every sort of venue from small jazz clubs to symphony orchestra halls to major stadiums. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape. www.afm.org


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