Should Performers be Paid for Radio Spins?

Some of the greatest songs ever recorded are identified with artists who didn’t write them. Johnny Cash didn’t write “A Boy Named Sue.” Many of the songs that made Elvis “The King” of Rock and Roll were written by other people. But performers don’t receive royalties when their albums are played on radio, only composers and publishers do. Should Miley be getting cash every time “Party in the USA” gets played on Z100? Should Johnny Cash’s estate profit when his cover of NIN’s “Hurt” gets spins? That question is at the center of a Washington DC debate, with MusicFirst, a coalition which includes the RIAA, advocating performers be paid when their songs get played. The bill that would make MusicFirst’s dream a reality recently passed both the house and senate judiciary committees. The debate has valid points on both sides, although more than half of the money performers would be entitled to would go to record labels. Check out an in depth article on the subject on