Katy Perry, Rihanna and Maroon 5 are among 125 popular musicians who have signed their names on an open letter to congress directly opposing the "Internet Radio Fairness Act". According to research, the bill, proposed by the popular music-streaming site Pandora Radio, could sharply cut musicians' royalty payments for up to 85 percent .
In the artists-signed letter titled "A Musicians' Perspective On Pandora", musicians such as Billy Joel, Missy Elliott, Ludacris and Pink Floyd criticized Pandora Media Inc. for seeking to cut royalty payments of artists when his or her songs are played over the Internet.
Pandora is currently lobbying U.S. Congress to pass the said bill that hopes to level the playing field when it comes to royalty rates paid to musicians. The bill suggests that online radio services pay studios and artists fees that are comparable to radio and satellite radio providers.
MusicFirst Coalition and SoundExchange are two organizations on the side of the musicians saying that such bill could "slash" musician's royalty payments for up to 85 percent if passed. However, Pandora insists that the current law penalizes new media and that the business model needs to change so that internet radio royalty fees are in line with what cable or satellite radio pays. Pandora gets a huge part of its funding through advertising, but the more listeners Pandora gains, the more money the internet music streaming company must pay for rights to stream such music.
The open letter states, "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." Billboard magazine is set to publish the letter in its entirety this weekend.