‘Fair pay’ for recording artists is a public policy no-brainer

A bipartisan coalition of federal legislators have just introduced H.R. 1836, a copyright-related bill titled the “Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2017.” If enacted, it would require owners of US, analog, commercial broadcast-radio stations who publicly perform popular sound recordings to either pay a government-set fee to their copyright owners or to obtain their permission to waive payment of that fee. As a general rule, any bill that alters the scope of existing federal intellectual-property rights will tend to raise challenging questions on which reasonable people can disagree.