What Is The Allocation For Music Producer Act, And How Does It Affect You?

US Representatives Joe Crowley and Tom Rooney introduced to the house a piece of good news for producers, engineers and other unknown warriors of music production last month.  It’s a small step, and it might be a long shot, but it’s a step none-the-less.


Check out this Music Times article for some more details on the bill itself.

In short, the Allocation for Music Producer Act (AMP Act – H.R. 1457) reserves a piece of recording (master recording – not be confused with writing/publishing) royalties paid out via SoundExchange for those that have contributed to a recording.  The linked article mentions producers, mixers and engineers; but I have it on good authority that this extends to performers as well.

For scale: SoundExchange is the only society that pays out royalties for broadcasted recordings in the United States, and they only pay for non-interactive digital delivery.  So this does not apply to terrestrial radio, or Spotify, or YouTube.  This is, with very few (if any) exceptions, talking about XM Satellite Radio and the like, Pandora and the like, or other services that distribute music digitally and don’t allow their audience to choose which song (or recording) they are listening to.

Now, don’t brush this off.  Any action in congress on the behalf of the music community is to be greatly appreciated.  Every step matters and while this one may seem fairly inconsequential, it’s a little more momentum than we had before it was taken.  

For more information, please contact the Recording Academy.  They have a fantastic advocacy program called Grammys on the Hill through which they have been lobbying for this bill and a few others that are much closer to my heart.  First and foremost (to me) is a much needed reform of the DOJ consent decrees and the Songwriter Equity Act (if you want to hear more about this, let us know and I’ll give it it’s own write up, far too much to get into here); and just as important is the Fair Play Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1733) – a motion that will mandate royalties to be paid for recordings performed via AM and FM radio, not just on non-interactive digital distribution platforms as it is now.

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Michael is an entertainment attorney at Ramo Law PC specializing in music, film and television as well as a guitarist and former guitar tech.

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