According to the Associated Press, Congress is currently trying to pass a bill that will allow performers and the recording labels to share of the ad revenue generated by playing their songs. The bill comes at a critical time for the music industry which is suffering in this shaky economy because of declining CD and digital song sales.
AP business writer, Ryan Nakashima cites the example of Jack Ely, the singer whose 1963 version of "Louie Louie" gets played "twice a day by every oldies station everywhere in the world." Sadly, however, he "only received on check for $5,000.00" at the time of the recording, which he claims was the only money he ever was paid. Nakashima points out that that stands in stark contrast to the $100,000.00 that the children of "Louie Louie" songwriter, Richard Berry, cash in on annually. There have been previous legal attempts to create a performers' royalty bill but all have been countered by the lobby representing radio stations headed by the National Association of Broadcasters.
The proposed bill, which has the support of the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. is set for final review this month before being moved forward to the House floor for review.