SoundExchange, the group charged with collecting online radio royalty payments in the US, is a non-profit organisation and, under US law, is prevented from funding political activities.
Unfortunately, it turns out that it's been helping underwrite the costs of the MusicFirst coalition.
Wired asked them how they could be doing this, what with the bar on them getting involved in lobbying. The answer was... well, not an answer at all:
Wired tried again, this time talking to Michael Huppe, General Counsel for SoundExchange. He suggested that it was all fine:
If we've got this right, he means that the money they use is somehow theoretically drawn from royalties going to members of the organisation, and not the funds which are held by SoundExchange on non-members' behalf, but it's the board rather than the members who have approved this use of the money.
It's still far from clear if this is even legal, but as Wired points out, even if there is crawl room in the establishing statutes, it's hardly ethical for an entity set up to be a neutral administrative body to be paying for political lobbying.