Billy Joel and Rihanna fight Pandora for fair compensation

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Billy Joel, Rihanna, and Missy Elliott have joined a list of 125 musicians in signing an open letter to Pandora Media in an effort to protect their compensation, according to a report by Reuters.

The artists say the "internet Fairness Act," which is before congress and is being lobbied for by Pandora, would slash their profits from internet radio play by 85%. 

In the letter, which is set to be published in Billboard magazine, the question is posed, "Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon?"

With the current royalties structure, Pandora must pay more per song as their listenership grows. The company's current rate is set until 2015, but Pandora complains providers in other mediums -- such as satellite and cable -- pay different royalty rates.

"The current law penalizes new media and is astonishingly unfair to Internet radio," says a statement on Pandora's website. 

The company seeks to add some perspective by explaining, "For over two thousand artists Pandora will pay over $10,000 dollars each over the next 12 months ... and for more than 800 we'll pay over $50,000, more than the income of the average American household."

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