Skip to comments.Rift over royalties - A bill to make radio stations pay singers divides black artists, leaders
Posted on 08/28/2009 12:14:04 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
"...The artists deserve it, ...With things the way they are today, everybody needs every little penny they can get."
...Radio personalities such as Tom Joyner, whose "Tom Joyner Morning Show" is owned by Radio One Inc., a black-owned conglomerate, oppose the bill, generating support from their vast listening audiences....
There is also a division within the civil rights community. The NAACP recently passed a resolution supporting the bill, while activists Al Sharpton, whose radio show is syndicated by Radio One, and Jesse Jackson, whose show is syndicated by a subsidiary of Clear Channel Corp., oppose it...
The bill's sponsor, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and other supporters contend that it would help to right the wrongs of the past, particularly for African-American artists, many of whom were financially exploited by record companies early in their careers and are struggling financially in retirement.
Critics such as Cathy Hughes... have called the bill a "performance tax" that would lead to the demise of black-oriented radio stations that are barely staying afloat in this sagging economy...
"When we came into the business back in 1958, there were very few artists who had their own publishing companies or recording companies... The record companies would take you to the back of the studio to record and maybe give you a car, but you never got paid..."
"...For 70 years, terrestrial radio has had this exemption and has been able to build their business without paying the performers," Rogers said. "There are 10,000 radio stations in the country, so this is not a whole lot of money per station. "But in aggregate, it could be a substantial sum for the artists."
"This bill is geared too much toward the record labels that will control the money, so it's really big business against big business." (Sharpton!)
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Why does the skin color of the people on either side of this issue matter?
I am sick to death of “right past wrongs”....................People need to grow the hell up.
How many times do artists need to be paid for the same piece of work?
A truck driver drives his truck from A to B and is paid. He doesn’t get paid many times, he just gets paid once.
A brick layer gets paid to build a wall. Once.
A baker is paid once for a loaf of bread. Only once.
A McDonalds worker gets paid once for each hour she works. Only once.
So why should artists get paid over and over and over and over and over again forever and ever for the work they produce? This makes no sense.
This has never been the way of the radio business. The music industry stole money for decade upon decade (anyone with an auditor always turned up unpaid royalties) and now the stations are supposed to “pay” additional fees (they already pay the publisher) to keep musicians out of poverty.
Big Media owns our legislature.
When records originally came out 100+ years ago, you didn’t have to pay any royalties to record a song (or sing it on stage), the money was in sheet music and entertainers were ENCOURAGED to make the songwriters’ songs famous where they could get $0.50 per song in sheet music sales (pretty good money back then). They’d pass out music to entertainers at vaudeville houses, they pay shills to sing along from the audience to the entertainer on stage, they’d pay shills to sing the song at the bar down the street from the vaudeville house.
Then records came out. The courts originally ruled that no money was owed.
Then radio came along and live musicians were worried that they would not get gigs anymore as radio took to playing the records that the record companies gave them instead of paying to hire a band to play live. So a fund was set up to help pay for live gigs for performers. Radio STILL pays this. And publishers eventually got paid for records played on radio.
They want to change the law again.
Because the industry is full of theives. Rather than clean up their own home, they go after radio.
Publishing on songs was stolen under the flimsiest of claims and the industry has locked their grip on copyright for another 50 years.
If the songs were public domain today, these “hard up” entertainers would be able to release their own CDs of their old recordings and play them live and keep every dime.
But we changed the laws to suite Big Media (RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, Warner, Sony...) instead of addressing the root corruption.
Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic Records ripped off artists as much as any other crook. Race of the crook and race of the artist had nothing to do with it.
The NAACP has no business in this issue or in Global Warming (Barbara Boxer used the NAACP’s position on man made global warming to try to silence a black corporate executive).
Radio One, Inc. is led by our Chairperson and Founder, Catherine L. Hughes, and her son, Alfred C. Liggins, III, Chief Executive Officer and President, who together have over 45 years of operating experience in radio broadcasting. Ms. Hughes, Mr. Liggins, and our strong management team, have successfully implemented a strategy of acquiring and turning around under performing radio stations.
The law should be neutral on transmission method. If internet and satellite stations have to pay, then terrestrial radio should too. If terrestrial radio doesn't have to, then satellite and internet shouldn't either. Any rule other than being neutral on transmission method would be as stupid as charging the royalty for AM stations but not for FM.
Many internet broadcasters went belly up when they started to have to pay this royalty.
Told to my husband by a black man in the recording industry.
I quote “with all the technology today; you can make the worst singer in history sound like a millio bucks.” So are these singers really good enough in the first place?
They want to use a sliding scale too. Which would exempt left of the dial hate speech talk radio (which typically uses alt-country, worldbeat, and soft indie pop to solicit pledge drive donations to fund the hate speech).
Either the artists are being exploited or they aren’t. The size of the exploiter doesn’t matter. The industry’s anger at filetraders (which consists of individuals) proves it.
Terrestrial radio doesn’t have to pay because it is a legacy technology that NEVER had to pay.
The recording companies own enough legislators that they didn’t want to make that error again.
The artist use to get something like 5 cents every time the recording was played over the air. Is this no longer done?
The publisher (the one who owns copyright, not the singer). Publishing originally was split between ASCAP and the listed songwriter(s).
ASCAP refused to record R&B (originally called “race” records), C&W (originally called “hillbilly” records), and their byproduct Rock and Roll. BMI would.
When BMI published songs suddenly topped the charts by giving the public songs that ASCAP wouldn’t, ASCAP alleged payola (which had been in the industry since day one and remains there TODAY).
Sometimes publishing is transferred from someone to someone else. Often through crooked contracts. Allen Klein stole the Rolling Stones’ back catalog. Ahmet Ertegun stole the Stax catalog.
I don’t recall the exact circumstance of the Beatles losing publishing on their songs (recall that Michael Jackson purchased them at one point, after Paul McCartney was telling him own buying back catalogs was a good investment, Paul had bought the Buddy Holly catalog).
A bill to make payments to artists from radios stations legal. And payola is illegal why?
Proving that you can be a racist “journalist” about any subject.
If you look at the ties between Big Media entities (Good Morning America on ABC promoting Disney-Corp films and albums, for example) without disclosing their commerical interest is also a violation. The FCC never speaks up. There are never congressional hearings.
If Warner Music wanted to sponsor a 2 hour weekly radio broadcast (or have a WB series of stations from coast to coast) there would be no infraction provided they made repeated announcement to the audience that it was bought time or company owned.
Artists like Chris Isaak have said that they believe it would be much better for their careers if the industry DID do this because the label could keep current albums in guaranteed rotation and promote. Longevity of a song would still depend on public acceptance.
Given a car, but not paid?
I'll bet Obama would want income taxes paid on the car even though the artists were not "paid".
A pimp will take every dollar you make, buy you a wardrobe to send you out on the streets, but then collect every dollar you brought in that night.
In a word, SOCIALISM.
Simple. Dont play their music. see how many bucks they make if you just refuse to play their music.
The “artists” depend on play. People hear their music they like it , they buy it. Their music isnt played no one buys their records.
The hell with them, just dont play their music.They will change their mionds soo enough.
They pay the performers if the performers own the material being played. If the performers don't happen to own it then they are out of luck. In the latter case the performer was presumably paid what he demanded or was offered. If he was never paid anything at all then he may have a case that something is owed. It all comes down to the deal the performer makes. If he gets played for a sucker once than he has paid the dues most have to pay to get a start. If he lets himself in for a screwing after that then he isn't looking after himself
We can step on up through the years. The corporations don't own everything. Some music IS public domain in this country.
The artist who isn’t seeing anything from the publishing side of his songs may not be seeing anything from the album sales either. But this isn’t the fault of radio.
I work in radio for a LIVING..and I can tell you that as a small market station, we’d be out of business in a heartbeat..our community would not support an all-talk station. To me, the argument the artists have should be with ASCAP or their record companies..not radio! And hey artists..how would you sell records if you had no radio airplay?? When no radio stations remain that play music, you won’t sell anything! Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face, c’mon!
Stop making sense! You are going to tick off all the Democrats!
I’m not in support of the bill and I am a musician. That being said, your question to artist about selling their records without airplay is honestly not a concern to us any longer.
Commercial FM stations have completely abandoned their traditional role as providers of “new” music to the public. If they ever become relevant again and consider playing artists from the current decade we may support their endeavors.
In the meantime I am a little ambivalent as to how many retirement checks they may be forced to send to AC/DC, U2, or Pearl Jam.