June 19, 2015
For Immediate Release
Vice President of Outreach and Strategy, FMLC
FMLC seeks to improve flawed music licensing system
WASHINGTON – Music is best enjoyed around a group of family or friends in a social setting, but current music licensing fees are costing the local hospitality industry a lot of money and a lot of headaches.
Members of the Fairness in Music Licensing Coalition recently traveled to Washington D.C., and met with legislators to voice their concerns about how the Performance Rights Organization’s (PROs) current system of collecting costly licensing fees from its members is ineffective and outdated. During their visit, several Members of Congress expressed their support to reform the rules on opaque music licensing fees and harsh collection practices.
“There have not been changes to the current music licensing system in about 20 years,” said FMLC Secretary and Vice President of Government Affairs Amy Christie. “It’s time to modernize the system and lift some of the weight off of the shoulders of the hospitality industry.”
Due to how the current system is set up, many businesses in the hospitality industry, including hotels, bars and restaurants, are required to pay steep fees to multiple PROs in order to keep their customers entertained.
However, many businesses are choosing to do away with having music played, whether live or through a radio, altogether.
“We’re striving to help the small businesses in this industry, which have already taken a hard enough hit in the last decade,” said FMLC Chairman and President Rick Swindelhurst. “Protecting them from unreasonable and exorbitant fees is our mission.”
The Fairness in Music Licensing Coalition works to establish equity, transparency and fairness in music licensing. Our goal is to simplify, modernize and clarify the Copyright Act with regards to business rights, the Small Business Exemption and transparency while maintaining the copyright interest of writers and composers. For policy updates and more information on the association and its activities visit the Fairness in Music Licensing Coalition website at www.musicfairness.org