Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:
Pandora and Sirius have decided to stop paying performance royalties to artists, producers and background performers who recorded before 1972–in other words, the creators (and their heirs) of the greatest music that influenced us all. Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Winter and everyone in 20 Feet from Stardom. Just to name a few. The Pandora loophole hurts American artists the worst (because Pandora’s pals at the NAB keep US artists from being paid overseas).
The Pandora loophole is due to a gotcha in the US copyright law–the Pandora loophole–that supposedly does not extend the SoundExchange royalty to recordings made before 1972 because the U.S. did not adopt federal copyright protection for sound recordings until 1972. The only problem with Pandora’s position is that there are lots of Members of Congress still in office who passed the 1995…
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