Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney, Crowley Reintroduce AMP Act to Allow Music Producers to Receive Fair Pay

Feb 7, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY) announced today the reintroduction of their legislation to reform the way music producers receive royalties and help to ensure equity for those working in the music industry. The Allocation for Music Producers Act, or AMP Act, would amend federal law to improve royalty payments to producers and engineers. 

“We have a long history in this country of protecting the property rights of individuals,” Rooney said. “The people that originate and cultivate ideas in America have been rewarded for them like no other place in the world. I have always believed that the words and scores behind great music belong to the innovative minds that collaborate and create them in the first place. I’m glad to have worked with my friend Congressman Crowley to reintroduce this bill to help protect the people who work hard to contribute and produce the arts we all enjoy.”

“Music producers provide creative direction that is integral in the development of any song. As a lover of music and a self-proclaimed songwriter, I’m familiar with just how essential producers and engineers are to the music industry,” said Chairman Crowley. “Composing songs is a team effort, and our AMP Act will ensure that every music professional receives what he or she has earned. On the eve of music’s biggest night, I’m proud to once again join forces with Congressman Rooney to reintroduce this needed bill.”

Crowley and Rooney are members of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus. Congress passed the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act (DPRA) in 1995, which allowed featured performers to collect a 45 percent royalty whenever a song they performed was broadcast in a digital format. However, while performers receive a direct payment of the royalty, producers, engineers, and other studio professionals were not granted a statutory share of the individual song’s royalty. Producers can only collect their portion of the royalties through a contract established between the producer and featured artist called a “letter of direction.”

The AMP Act would give producers the statutory right to receive compensation for the recordings they produce through the letter of direction process. In addition, the bill would establish a procedure for producers and engineers to seek permission from featured artists or their heirs to receive appropriate royalty payments for sound recordings made prior to 1995.

The AMP Act is supported by The Recording Academy, which represents more than 24,000 producers, engineers, artists, songwriters and other individual music creators, and by SoundExchange, the independent nonprofit performance rights organization responsible for collecting and distributing digital performance royalties to music creators and copyright holders.

“The Recording Academy is grateful to Representatives Crowley and Rooney for their continued support of this historic bill. Thanks to their leadership, the AMP Act secured the bipartisan support of 50 cosponsors last year and we look forward to continued momentum in the 115th Congress. As the only organization representing all classes of music creators – including studio professionals – we are gratified to see the efforts of our Producers & Engineers Wing supported by these leading legislators,” said Neil Portnow, President and CEO, The Recording Academy.