Skip to comments.Radio Royalties Fight Heats Up In Washington
Posted on 01/09/2010 1:07:08 AM PST by bruinbirdman
Should stations pay artists to play their tunes? Get ready for one of the year's biggest battles.
One of the biggest lobbying fights in the nation's capital this year could involve a traditionally non-Washington subject: rock and roll.
At issue: whether AM and FM radio stations should pay royalties to performers on recorded music played over the airwaves, and if so, what those rates should be. Right now only composers and their affiliated publishers reap these payments.
In one corner is the MusicFIRST Coalition, which includes the Recording Industry Association of America, several artist groups and SoundExchange, the folks who collect licensing fees from satellite and Internet radio stations and distribute it in the form of royalty payments to musicians. They say it's not fair that session musicians and others who play or sing on records played on the radio should be denied compensation.
Poppycock, argues Dennis Wharton a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, the group on the other side. Half of the money would go to record companies, and "Who has abused artists worse than the record labels traditionally?" he asks. "No one."
Led by the NAB, broadcasters including Clear Channel Radio, Emmis Communications (EMMS) and National Public Radio have formed the Free Radio Alliance in opposition to the Performance Rights Act. The legislation would require terrestrial broadcasters to pay performance royalty fees. Stations with less than $1.25 million in annual revenue would be allowed to pay a flat fee of no more than $5,000 per year.
According to the NAB the bill would impose an additional financial burden on broadcasters during a recession and would drive many music stations into talk radio or out of business. Moreover, the industry group says, radio airplay is already free promotion for artists.
There's smoke and substance on both sides
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
I didn’t know people still listned to music on the radio anymore.
It is against the law for stations to accept money in return for playing songs they want promoted. Seems appropriate the stations should not have to pay for popular music they choose to play. It is and must remain a freedom thing!
I wonder if the artists realize that without radio, they will lose a major publicity/promotion vehicle that enables them to make money in other ways.
Should stations pay artists to play their tunes? Get ready for one of the year's biggest battles. ... One of the biggest lobbying fights in the nation's capital this year could involve a traditionally non-Washington subject: rock and roll.
Check the congress-critters bank accounts and follow the money.
Just a guess but I'd say it leads back to the Recording Companies(1). They've screwed artists since the invention of the Victrola and wireless radio.
"Yes siree son, you went Platinum! Here's $500, go buy a new suit."
Plus org's like BMI (there's another I can't think of right now). You put a jukebox in a tavern - pay up to BMI. A live band in a lounge - pay up to BMI.
Oh sure. In the Chi area Oldies Stations do well. That's why Elvis is still a making money.
Happy belated Birthday to The King (he was 75 yesterday).
Don’t singers benefit immensely from their music being played on the airwaves? Unless itunes, etc has a much deeper market penetration that I am aware of, I assume that most people are exposed to music by the radio.
Yeah! That's the one I was thinking of.
What this is about is that much of R&R oldies etc copyrights have been purchased by foreign interests and they want royalties for radio play.
Radio was exempted from paying royalties collected through ASCAP and MCI because radio DJ jocks played the role that old time song pluggers used in promoting the sheet music which is where the money was during the turn of the last century, then later in the sales of records.
The no payola law (radio station DJ’s accepting “gratuities” for playing a record) came into effect when some DJ’s got under the table money and more ,eex, drugs, etc by repeated playing a record of a given artist in major marketing areas. Thus creating a demand for that particular record.
Independent radio stations and groups ran commercials urging Cong Dave Obey (who because of seniority gets to schedule House Bills) bottle the law up committee to which Obey gave them the finger. Obey is being opposed by Dan Mielke a conservfative in Wisconsin’s 7th dist.
What is interesting how R&R came about was because of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Poets) began holding a club over stations because of the same royalty questions. This brought MCI and other organizations which signed up the new composers and allowed R&R to enter the American scene through free radio use into the picture.
Go King Go
Good. Maybe families will go back to singing together, oh say, hymns?!!
All of the talk radio stations would lose their bumper music.
Meanwhile the big corporate labels that this benefits continue to withhold BILLIONS of unpaid royalties to the artists who recorded for them.
>>I wonder if the artists realize...<<
I don’t think this is even remotely about the artists.
I have a friend that owns a bar. It’s an awesome Irish pub with incredible food. The RIAA guy was in there a few months ago “pounding his fist on the bar” demanding that they pay just under $1,000 a month for the right to have live bands play music there. My friend even told the guy that they were only booking “originals” bands. They guy said they still had to pay.
It is a “legal mafia” sort of thing. For that matter, so are most of the business taxes and license fees, but I digress...
Correction. I believe the guy was ASCAP, not RIAA...
>>All of the talk radio stations would lose their bumper music.<<
I was thinking that as well. But nowadays one could always hire an independent artist to write and perform bumper music for a flat fee. Just bypass the entire system. Let’s be frank, how many people know Rush Limbaugh’s bumper song is the Pretenders, unless he brought it up himself?
There is music that exists outside of BMI and ASCAP and plenty of 20th century recordings that are in the public domain.
The dirty little secret is that Europe didn’t extend copyright the last time they came up (50 years and it when PD).
England is NOW looking at changing the law because the Beatles are about to lapse into the public domain (along with the looming British Invasion).
If it is good enough for Elvis and Sinatra to be in the public domain over there (and you will find the cuts on royalty free compilations) then it is good enough for the mop tops.
Now THOSE public domain cuts couldn’t be played royalty free in America but there is plenty of music that could be used without having to write or record new works.
**>>I wonder if the artists realize...<<
I dont think this is even remotely about the artists.**
Has NOTHING to do with the ARTISTS... who are NEVER going to see ANYTHING collected... Most have to SUE to see anything from BMI and ASCAP.
As for the BAR POUNDER... I suggest 12 Gauge... Double Barrel if he’s a BIGASS!!!