Yes Eddie not only was a legend as a discoverer of American music legends like Ricky Nelson, Fats Domino, Charley Daniels Jr, and dozens more but his appointment by President Reagan to the Tribunal as the Commissioner was another first for an African American.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Eddie and the Copyright Royalty Tribunal:
“October, 1981, Ray was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and confirmed by the US senate, to serve as a US Commissioner on the US Copyright Royalty Tribunal (CRT), for the unexpired term of a commissioner who resigned.Then on September, 1982, President Reagan nominated Ray for the second for a full term of seven years as a Commissioner on the CRT.
“The CRT’s primary responsibilities was (1) to set the Statutory Rates for certain sections of the Compulsory Licensing provisions of the US Copyright Act; and (2) to conduct Distribution Hearings to distribute Statutory Royalty funds that were deposited directly to the US Copyright Office by copyright users to be distributed to the appropriate copyright owners.
“During Ray’s tenure, the CRT conducted one Statutory Rate Hearing and raised the original rate set by Congress for Cable/Satellite companies that retransmitted broadcast signals into a distant market. The definition of “distant market” was thirty miles from the location where the broadcast signal originated. The CRT’s Cable/Satellite rate final Determination cause a tremendous controversy among Cable/Satellite companies and several members of Congress who believed the rate was much too high. The Cable/ Satellite companies appealed the CRT’s Determination to the Second Federal Circuit Court in Washington, DC and the Court upheld the CRT’s Determination in full.
“The CRT also conducted a Distribution Hearing each year during while Ray served as Commissioner at the CRT. During each of the Distribution Hearings, copyright owners were represented by copyright Claimants MPAA(for movies & TV Situation Comedies); Joints Sports (for NBA, Major League Baseball & NCAA ); Devotionals (TV Religious Programs); Music Performance Societies ( BMI, ASCAP, SESAC ); PBS; and NPR.”
More on Eddie in next post!