May 30, 2014

By Scott Walker

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A US Congressional bill is seeking to restore royalties to the creators of some iconic hits of the Sixties.

Otis Redding wrote “Respect” just before he died at the age of 26. But his estate does not receive royalties for Aretha Franklin’s hit version from digital music services such as Syrius and Pandora.

They’re exploiting a loophole in US copyright law to avoid paying royalties on songs written before 1972. Otis Redding’s daughter, Carla, says her father’s estate has seen a 90 per cent drop in income because of the loophole.

Sound Exchange, which tracks airplay, says legacy artists have lost out on $60-million in the past year alone.

Artists rallied on capitol hill in support of legislation to close the loophole. It’s called the “Respecting Senior Artists as Essential Cultural Treasures Act.” It’s better known as the “Respect Act.”

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