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the technology of sound reproduction. The comparatively few musical jobs offered by motion picture producers in the preparation of sound tracks hardly relieved the impact of this catastrophe. Yet, despite the substantial elimination of musicians from the industry, musical performance over the last thirty-five years has become an ever more important ingredient of motion pictures and, today, scarcely a motion picture sound track, heard in theatres or on television, is without musical accompaniment.
The Corrosion of Economic Opportunity
This same corrosion of musical employment opportunity has attended the development of other fields where live musicians once performed. The sound record, viewed by the legislators who enacted the 1909 Copyright Law as almost entirely a device for home entertainment, has become the principal, if not the exclusive source, of the program content purveyed by radio, juke boxes, wired music systems, , restaurants, night clubs, dance halls, skating rinks and other places of public convention and mass entertainment where musical performance is sold for profit. Yet, the musician, the creator of the record which is publicly used for great profit, has been eliminated from the radio station studio whence his record is broadcast, from the tavern, dance hall and roadhouse where the juke box has replaced the band stand, and from the restaurant, hotel and night club “discotheque”10 where in his absence his records replay his per. formances. The profits of these businesses mount; the royalties distributed by the performing rights and recording rights societies break new annual records; the public appetite for and appreciation of musical performance increases; and all the while, the attrition of the musicians' job opportunities accelerates as his economic incentive diminishes.
More Recorded Music
Fewer Musicians Employed
Between 1948 and today, the number of commercial radio broadcasters has more than doubled while program content has changed from live network product to almost exclusive use of phonograph records. In 1953, approximately 47% of radio broadcast time consisted of recorded music. In 1963, that figure had ballooned to 80%.11
In 1960, 502 of the 537 local radio and television stations in 31 states and the District of Columbia (not including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles from which emanate most of the network programs)-did not employ a single live musician. The remaining 35 local stations employed a total of 163 musicians perhaps once, twice or three times a year for a special casual engagement. Only 27 of these 163 local radio and television musicians had regular employment. Yet the basic program content broadcast by these stations was preponderantly musical—380 stations broadcast music for 75% or more of their total time on the air and 192 programed music for 90% or more of their total air time. 12
In 1963, ASCAP’s revenues from public performance licenses exceeded $37 million and the Society distributed $30 million to its 7000 composer and 2300 publisher members. The other U.S. performing rights societies added another $14 million to 1963 receipts from musical public performance. In 1921, ASCAP's entire distribution to members was $111,000.13
In 1962, approximately $452 million was paid into 463,000 coin operated phonographs in the United States to play some 49 million records. It was estimated that in that year each machine grossed $1106.73 and weekly revenues per machine were $18.79,14 while not a single musician was employed or paid by a juke box operator.
In 1964, the phonograph record industry of the United States, which produces more than one-half of the entire world's product, gave sporadic piece work to an estimated grand total of some 4000 non-featured musicians throughout the United States and Canada. Total phonograph sales at retail of the American industry in 1964 approximated $600 million-a 10% increase over 1963.15
A Strange Paradox
So the strange paradox exists. The love, knowledge and enjoyment of music in America today seems far greater and deeper than ever it was before. There are more musical programs being broadcast by radio today than were 25 years ago. There are many more symphony, opera, and other instrumental music phonograph records sold today than in 1940. There are millions of dollars more in performance royalties being collected by composers societies today than ever before from the performance of music, much of it recorded. But despite these substantial increases in public music appreciation and in the commercial profits derived from musical performance, there are fewer musicians earning their bread from musical performance today than there were 25 years ago and, for that dwindling group who tenaciously cling to a livelihood derived from their performing talents, their way
of life becomes increasingly precarious. There is far less possibility today than there was a quarter century ago that a young musician will find what his God-given talent, his years of study, training and practice, and his self-discipline should give him—a reasonable expectancy of modest economic opportunity to devote himself to his chosen profession and to work in the symphony orchestra, opera company, concert hall, night club, television or radio studio, motion picture production lot, and the other places which have traditionally used the talents of American musicians. 16
No Music Can Be Recorded
Yet no one has devised a better way to play music than by the performing musician. The phonograph record, the motion picture sound track, the radio and television transmitter do not immaculately conceive nor spontaneously procreate musical performance. Without performers there can be no phonograph records for discotheques, motion picture sound tracks for theatres, or taped radio and television programs for broadcasters. The Federation therefore suggests that these performing musicians must be saved and that the possibility of economic survival of the generations of musicians to come must be assured. They constitute an irreplaceable cultural resource and they must be dealt with as such --much the same as we strive to preserve our shore lines against the ravages of erosion, our wild life against the rapacious poacher, our wood lands against the despoiling forester, and our gold supply against the international raider.
Democratise The Copyright Law
The enactment of a copyright law which will provide for the performing musician a modicum of economic incentive and participation in the profits derived from recordings will be an important recognition of this public responsibility for the conservation of American talent. In the spirit with which we wage the war against poverty and strive to open the doors of opportunity to those whom our affluent society has neglected, let us, by democratizing the copyright system of this land, bring an end to the special privilege and immunity which thwarts the efforts of the American performer to live by his talents.
No Wild Dream
This is no wild dream or theoretical proposal. Various programs of recognition of some degree of participation in the public dissemination of records by the performer or the manufacturer or both are to be found in the laws of many nations—with, perhaps, the more notable exceptions of the U.S.S.R., Albania, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cuba, Haiti, Indonesia, Rumania, Yugoslavia and the United States. For more than 15 years, international conferences have urged the adoption of domestic legislation by their participants which would give recognition to so-called “neighboring rights” directly in the performer or through the record producer. A detailed compilation of these laws and of the development of international efforts toward recognition of this protection is to be found in Study No. 26 prepared for the Senate Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights. The dire predictions and projections of those who oppose any degree of performer participation in the fruits of recorded broadcasts have not occurred in those places which have recognized the right, and performers have benefited, without public disadvantage, to a marked degree from a sense of recognition and participation as well as from the additional performance receipts.
Good Morals Make Good Laws
In the Federation's view, the performers' claim to recognition in the proposed copyright law poses a sharp moral issue which will not disappear because its opponents have