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David Byrne Talks With D.C. Congressmembers About Getting Paid for Radio Plays

David Byrne visits D.C. -- the hometown of not only American government but SoundExchange, the digital collection organization -- to meet with the congressmembers behind the Fair Play, Fair Pay act.

Donning a pastel red suit, music legend David Byrne visited Capitol Hill Thursday to speak with Rep. Jerrold Nadler. Byrne is not just a world-famous musician, visual artist, cycling enthusiast and record label founder — since May he’s been a board member of SoundExchange, the organization that collects and distributes performance royalties from services like Pandora and SiriusXM. Byrne was joined in the meeting with Nadler by SoundExchange CEO Mike Huppe.

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Nadler has been a vocal advocate for issues dear to artists and music companies. He is a co-sponsor of the Fair Play, Fair Pay Act of 2015 that, if passed, would create a performance right for sound recordings at terrestrial radio and mandate royalty payments to record labels. The bottom line is that terrestrial radio profits from the intellectual property of recording artists for free. I’m aware of no other instance in the United States where this is allowed,” Nadler said at a pre-Grammy event in Los Angeles in February.

A Democrat from New York, Nadler is the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary subcommittee that oversees copyright, music licensing and other intellectual property issues in the music industry.