A new campaign is looking to ensure artists get paid for radio plays in the US, fixing a hole in their copyright law.

In the US, there is a strange gap in their copyright law for music played on the radio. As it stands, radio stations in the US aren’t required to acquire licenses for radio plays of recorded music – though they do for the songs.

There is no basis for radio stations to pay artists and record labels for radio plays. This is where a rights organisation for artists in the US steps in, musicFIRST Coalition. They’re leading a Music Fairness Action campaign.

In their campaign they are asking fans and musicians alike to support the American Music Fairness Act. The act was first put forward to Congress in 2021 and would enforce royalties from the broadcast of sound recordings on AM and FM radio stations in the US.

Singer and actress Dionne Warwick is helping lead the campaign. She said: “Everyone deserves to be paid for their work. Periof. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That’s a bedrock American value that most people in this country stand by.

“And that’s why artists across genres and generations – from Frank Sinatra to Common to Randy Travis, Becky G, and so many others – have been speaking out in support of fair pay for AM/FM radio plays for decades.”

The American Music Fairness Act was passed by the House Judiciary Committee in 2022. Towards the start of 2023 it was reintroduced to Congress.

Former senator and co-chair of the musicFIRST coalition, Mark Pryror said: “The United States is the only democratic country in the world where artists are not paid when their music is played on AM/FM radio. We’re currently lumped in with the likes of Iran and North Korea when it comes to perpetuating this injustice – and that’s not the type of company that America ever wants to keep.

“It’s time for Big Radio to compensate these hardworking artists for the use of their intellectual property, just as we expect of every other industry and music platform.”

Apparently “big radio” are unhappy, unsurprisingly. They are pushing their own act: The Local Radio Freedom Act. The act requests that, um… the way things work now are solidified.

Warwick added: “This injustic has gone on for too long. I’ve been fighting this fight since the 80s and others were fighting long berfore me. It’s time to finally right this wrong. I urge my fellow music-makers and music lovers to join me in calling on Congress to pass the American Music Fairness Act.”