The bill, which stands for Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society, would require digital services to pay both rightsholders and artists for the use of recordings made before 1972. Similar versions of the CLASSICS Act were first introduced in the House in July, and then in the Senate just last week.
“Digital radio makes billions of dollars a year from airplay of music made before 1972,” the artists wrote. “Yet, because of an ambiguity in state and federal copyright laws, artists and copyright owners who created that music receive nothing for the use of their work. The ‘CLASSICS Act’ would correct this inequity and finally ensure that musicians and vocalists who made those timeless songs finally get their due. We urge Congress to pass the CLASSICS Act and other pro-artist reforms quickly.”
The letter, first introduced in December, was initially signed by more than 40 artists, including Bette Midler, Henry Rollins and Jason Isbell.
New names singing on include Linda Ronstadt, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Ciara, Cake, Melissa Etheridge, Booker T. Jones and one of his MGs, Steve Cropper, Grace Slick, Suzanne Vega, Jackson Browne, Tina Turner, Neil Young, Carlene Carter and Loretta Lynn, among others.
An ad co-sponsored by the Content Creators Coalition’s (c3), The Recording Academy, RIAA, A2IM, SoundExchange, musicFirst, SAG-AFTRA and the American Federation of Musicians will appear in Wednesday’s issue of Politico. See it below (click here for larger version):