The Future of Music Coalition says Clear Channel, in accepting music submissions from artists for possible play on the air and online, is forcing "local and independent artists to give up hard-won performance royalties as a condition for consideration for play," according to a statement. Artists and copyright owners ordinarily receive a performance royalty whenever their music is streamed over the Internet, but the FMC says CC is asking artists to waive this right.

FMC communications director Justin Jouvenal confirmed to Billboard.biz that the language the group is referring to appears in the agreement provided for artists who wish to submit music to Clear Channel. The form, which can be found on the artist-submission pages that appear on some CC station Web sites, asks artists to grant Clear Channel a "royalty-free non-exclusive right and license" to use submitted material in a variety of ways, including digital performances.

The FMC says this requirement runs "counter to the spirit" of an agreement Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercom and made earlier this year to set aside a total of 8,400 half-hour blocks of airtime for local and independent music. That agreement was negotiated with the American Association of Independent Music and followed, but was not part of, a consent decree the four broadcasters signed with the FCC to settle federal payola allegations. That settlement included a $12.5 million payment and no admission of wrongdoing on the part of broadcasters.

A Clear Channel representative contacted by Billboard.biz pointed out that under the agreement, artists can choose whether they want to make their music available for streaming or download and may terminate the license they grant to Clear Channel at any time.