The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing today on whether changes should be made to the Performance Rights Act. Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan showed up to testify on behalf of musicians fighting for changes that would entitle performers to more royalties from terrestrial radio.
In his testimony, Corgan honored radio’s role in his own success, but explained how the concept of refusing to pay musicians for their performance just because they were already compensated for their songwriting, was an antiquated exception. “The decision behind this long-held inequity stems back to 1909 when radio was in its infancy, and since sound recordings had only recently come onto the market, they were not included,” Corgan said. “The old fashioned radio business has held onto this exemption for over 80 years — a law made in a bygone era for a set of reasons long past… From my perspective, this issue is one of fundamental fairness. If the performance of a song has value to a particular terrestrial radio station in its airing, I believe it is only right to compensate those performers who have created this work.”
Corgan closed his testimony with this: “Whether we are talking about Motown, Stax, Elvis, or Howling Wolf, when the public decides that a specific performance is worthy of their attention, then it seems only fitting that this little bit of magic as documented be recognized in the form of direct compensation for the artists and organizations that helped to create it.”
For Billy Corgan’s complete testimony and more info on today’s hearing, click here.