NAACP Speaks Out Against Internet Radio Fairness Act
November 9, 2012

The NAACP has sent a letter to the leaders of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, speaking out against the proposed Internet Radio Fairness Act. The legislation would adjust digital royalty rates, lowering the amount paid by many online broadcasters.

In the letter, NAACP Washington Bureau Director and SVP of Advocacy & Policy Hilary O. Shelton writes that the proposed act "fails the basic test of economic fairness and discriminates against singers and musicians by slashing the compensation they receive when their work is played over digital online radio." It would also "unfairly deprive artists and performers of fair pay for their hard work. This would start a race to the bottom in performer's compensation, violating the founding principle of America's labor movement. A fair day's work deserves a fair day's pay."

He added, "Many of the performers who would be affected by this lower compensation rate are the now elderly singers and musicians from the Motown era who received little pay for their original work and are dependent on this modest performance royalty that would be eviscerated under IFRA."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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