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Rashida Tlaib, House Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district, has introduced a resolution that seeks to establish a new royalty program.

The resolution effectively continues her fight for musicians to earn a "reasonable" living from their recorded music.

"Expressing the sense of Congress that it is the duty of the Federal Government to establish a new royalty program to provide income to featured and non-featured performing artists whose music or audio content is listened to on streaming music services, like Spotify," reads the bill.

Tlaib's resolution proposes the royalty rate be administered by SoundExchange and the Copyright Royalty Board, who would calculate, collect, retain and distribute payments to the appropriate copyright holders.

The organizations' operations would be subsidized by "mandatory pro rata contributions collected by SoundExchange from eligible providers," according to the bill. And should SoundExchange need additional funds, they would be able to request direct public funding as they see fit. 

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rashida tlaib

Rashida Tlaib, the U.S. representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district.

Music is predominantly consumed via major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. According to RBR, streaming accounts for 83% of the total recorded revenue in the U.S.

The resolution adds the pandemic has caused significant harm to the live music space and has dwindled income for touring musicians. During this time, however, Tlaib maintains that streaming services like Spotify have benefitted from artists' work "in an unequal manner."

"...[P]roviders of streaming music service, like Spotify, saw a 13.4-percent increase in revenues in 2020, bringing Spotify’s streaming music service total revenue to $10,100,000,000," reads Tlaib's resolution. "Whereas musicians have created the content responsible for these record valuations, but are only compensated on average $0.007 per stream."

The resolution was reportedly referred to the House Judiciary Committee after it was introduced by Tlaib on August 9th, 2022. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has supported the bill, according to TechCrunch.

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