To House Judiciary Committee: Swift Consideration of CLASSICS Act

July 26, 2017

The Honorable Robert W. Goodlatte                     
Chairman                                                                     
House Judiciary Committee                                           
2138 Rayburn House Office Building                         
Washington, D.C.  20515                                            

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Judiciary Committee
B351 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge swift consideration of H.R. 3301, the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act (CLASSICS Act).

Introduced on July 19, 2017, this bipartisan bill provides artists and music creators who recorded music prior to 1972 with the ability to collect royalty payments whenever their music is played on digital radio services.  Under current law, the only tool available to artists and music creators of pre-1972 recordings to receive compensation for their sound recordings is to obtain court adjudication at the state level allowing for royalty payments.  For many of these pre-1972 recording artists, this is neither feasible nor equitable.  Passage of the CLASSICS Act would enable owners of such recordings to collect royalty payments for their work using the same federal copyright royalty system as post-1972 recording artists.   

CCAGW appreciates the efforts of the House Judiciary Committee to reform and modernize copyright law and provide equity to recording artists.  We look forward to working with you further to accomplish these objectives.  If you have any questions regarding CCAGW’s support of H.R. 3301, please feel free to contact either myself or CCAGW Director of Technology and Telecommunications Policy Deborah Collier at (202) 467-5300.                  

Sincerely, 

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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