The RIAA, Pandora and SoundExchange are among a chorus of industry bodies and music companies who’ve welcomed a new push in the U.S. to establish the copyright in all sound recordings beyond 1972.
Two American politicians this week introduced bipartisan legislation into Congress seeking to extend the digital performing right on sound recordings and repair a legislative loophole which rips off heritage artists.

In a quirk of U.S. federal law, only sound recordings made on or after February 15, 1972 receive royalty payments from digital radio services, which include Internet, cable and satellite radio platforms.

But that could change after Darrell Issa (R-Cali.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) on Wednesday (July 19) dropped the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act (the CLASSICS Act) in Washington D.C., a bill that would fix the legal flaw and establish royalty payments whenever pre-1972 music is played on digital radio services.

In a joint statement, the three industry voices welcomed what they described as a “breakthrough” bill. The updated legislation “helps close, once and for all, the loophole in federal law that has shortchanged legacy artists for decades,” said Cary Sherman, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman & CEO. “If enacted into law as we hope it will be, music’s founding generation of iconic performers and creators will finally share some of the value generated by the music that is the backbone of digital radio.”