Michael C. Yeh


The music industry is in a decline. Music sales are not creating the same profits as before, and rather than change or adapt, record labels are petitioning the legislature to create new modes of revenue. One way the music industry is petitioning the legislature to add a new source of revenue, without changing its archaic business model, is by pushing Congress to pass the Performance Rights Act. This Act proposes that analog radio stations pay musicians and artists royalties to play their songs on the air, just like on digital radio. While the Performance Rights Act looks great on the surface, it is just a quick fix to a much larger, underlying problem‹the record industry in general. As the paradigm of power shifts towards the artists, record labels are stubbornly still trying to make a profit through old business models

This comment will discuss the background of music industry contracts and the issues artists face, the proposed Performance Rights Act and what the Act is attempting to change in more detail, changes that have occurred in the industry because of technological advances, and compare the differences between analog and digital radio. The conclusion explains how Congress, by staying silent on this issue and not passing the Performance Rights Act, can provide artists with a more permanent solution to their right for equality in the music industry.