Rihanna, Billy Joel, and Missy Elliott are among 125 musicians who have signed an open letter opposing Pandora Media Inc.’s attempts to change the way artists are compensated, Many musicians say the “Internet Radio Fairness Act” would cut royalties that artists receive from plays online by a large percentage, possibly up to 85%. Pandora has been lobbying legislators in Congress to pass the “Internet Fairness Act.
“Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That’s not fair and that’s not how partners work together,” reads the letter, released by musicFirst, SoundExchange, a group of artists, and businesses. The letter is slated to be published in Billboard.
Pandora isn’t the only company pushing for the “Internet Fairness Act.” Clear Channel Communications is also pushing for the Internet Radio Fairness Act, arguing that other content providers, such as cable and satellite, pay different rates for rights. Much of this stems from the success of Pandora and Clear Channel; the more customers they have, the more music they play and therefore pay higher royalties