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(LA Times)   In an effort to grab more cash, the RIAA takes an idea from The Onion and runs with it   (latimes.com) divider line
    More: Asinine  
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47157 clicks; posted to Main » and Music » on 21 May 2007 at 8:16 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2007-05-21 5:41:44 PM  
Is Lars Ulrich the chairman of the RIAA? Those asshats just keep shooting themselves in the foot.
 
2007-05-21 5:42:24 PM  
DarthYoda: Is Lars Ulrich the chairman of the RIAA? Those asshats just keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Came in here to say this. Except I have no idea who Lars Ulrich is, but the point is the same.

Are they TRYING to destroy their entire business?
 
2007-05-21 5:42:27 PM  
Artists and labels seek royalties from radio
By Jim Puzzanghera, Times Staff Writer
May 21, 2007

WASHINGTON - With CD sales tumbling, record companies and musicians are looking at a new potential pot of money: royalties from broadcast radio stations.

For years, stations have paid royalties to composers and publishers when they played their songs. But they enjoy a federal exemption when paying the performers and record labels because, they argue, the airplay sells music.

Now, the Recording Industry Assn. of America and several artists' groups are getting ready to push Congress to repeal the exemption, a move that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new royalties.

Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.

"After so many years of not being compensated, it would be nice now at this late date to at least start," the 63-year-old Las Vegas resident said in Milwaukee, where she was performing at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino. "They've gotten 50-some years of free play. Now maybe it's time to pay up."

The decision to take on the volatile performance royalty issue again highlights the rough times the music industry is facing as listeners abandon compact discs for digital downloads, often listening to music shared with friends or obtained from file-sharing sites.

"The creation of music is suffering because of declining sales," said RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol. "We clearly have a more difficult time tolerating gaps in revenues that should be there."

It's not the first attempt to kill the exemption. In the past, politically powerful broadcasters beat back those efforts.

But with satellite and Internet radio forced to pay "public performance royalties" and Web broadcasters up in arms about a recent federal decision to boost their performance royalty rate, the record companies and musicians have a strong hand.

Broadcasters are already girding for the fight, expected to last more than a year. In a letter to lawmakers this month, the National Assn. of Broadcasters dubbed the royalties a "performance tax" that would upend the 70-year "mutually beneficial relationship" between radio stations and the recording industry.

"The existing system actually provides the epitome of fairness for all parties: free music for free promotion," wrote NAB President David Rehr.

Performance royalties are collected from traditional radio stations in nearly all major industrialized countries, but U.S. musicians and record companies can't because there is no similar royalty on the books here.

"The time comes that we really have to do this," said John Simson, executive director of SoundExchange, a group created by the recording industry to collect and distribute Internet and satellite music royalties.

For record labels and musicians, addressing the issue now is crucial because digital radio, now being rolled out, allows broadcasters to split a signal into several digital channels and play even more music exempt from performance royalties.

Groups preparing to push Congress to change the law include the RIAA, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the American Federation of Musicians and other organizations. The U.S. Copyright Office has long supported removing the exemption.

The groups have a major ally in Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village), who now chairs the House subcommittee dealing with intellectual property law. Berman is "actively contemplating" leading a legislative push to end the exemption.

"Given the many different ways to promote music now that didn't exist as effectively when this original exemption was made," he said, "the logic of that I think is more dubious."

Congress granted composers and publishers of music copyright protection in 1909. But the recording and radio industries were in their infancy, and the actual musical recordings were not covered. Congress extended limited copyright protection to musical performances in the 1970s to guard against an earlier form of piracy: the copying of records and tapes.

But by then, broadcasters were influential enough to snuff out any talk of making them pay musicians and recording companies for playing their music.

"The old saying is the reason broadcasters don't pay a performance royalty is there's a radio station in every congressional district and a record company in three," said Chris Castle, a music industry lawyer.

Broadcasters even successfully fought a group of singers and musicians led by Frank Sinatra in the late 1980s who tried to pressure Congress into changing the law. Broadcasters also prevailed in 1995, when Congress exempted them from new fees for digital recordings that everyone else had to pay.

"Congress has always recognized that broadcasters generate enormous sums of revenue to record companies and artists in terms of airplay," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. Radio stations also have public-interest obligations that satellite and Internet broadcasters don't have to worry about, he said.

Satellite radio, Internet broadcasters and cable television companies offering digital music channels now pay performance royalties. The recording industry and musician groups say it's time for traditional radio stations to pony up.

"Most of the artists in the world are kind of middle-class cats, trying to piece together a living," said Jonatha Brooke, a singer-songwriter who is part of the Recording Artists Coalition advocacy group. "It's important to be recognized and paid for our work."

/FOIA
 
2007-05-21 5:45:00 PM  
(lightbulb) Go ahead. Do it. Quick, before you change your mind! (Shhh. Nobody tell these guys that this is the fastest way to not get played on the radio anymore, causing nobody to hear them, causing their CD sales to go off a cliff, in favor of non-RIAA artists. Let them find out for themselves.)
 
2007-05-21 5:45:33 PM  
This is my favorite quote!

FTFA: Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.

These poor people who didn't plan for retirement are now trying to f*ck up the system.
 
2007-05-21 5:51:13 PM  
Katie98_KT: I have no idea who Lars Ulrich

He's the little guy; the leader of the RIAA police force...


[image from enemyplanet.com too old to be available]
 
2007-05-21 5:51:32 PM  
With CD sales tumbling, record companies and musicians are looking at a new potential pot of money: royalties from broadcast radio stations.

Gee...if only there was some way to distribute songs directly to customers over the internet. And if you could somehow get them to pay per song downloaded....why - there would be almost NO manufacturing overhead! It's just server space and a webportal! My GOD - they'd make BILLIONS! The direct marketing implications alone would make people rich beyond your imagination!

*sigh*

ah well. I guess we'll have to wait for that sort of technology to be developed.
 
2007-05-21 5:54:30 PM  
Weaver95: I guess we'll have to wait for that sort of technology to be developed.

I see what you did there...
 
2007-05-21 5:55:00 PM  
They should never have gone after Napster. Brilliant, FREE marketing for these gangsters and the musicians they feed off of. Dumbasses, the lot of them.
 
2007-05-21 5:56:16 PM  
It's amazing what plans people will put into action when no one dares tell them anything they don't want to hear
 
2007-05-21 6:05:24 PM  
Maybe they need the money.

For more hookers and blow.
 
2007-05-21 6:13:26 PM  
TFer: Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.

Or alternatively, they could stop living beyond their means. But that's an absurd suggestion.
 
2007-05-21 6:15:20 PM  
FTFA:"For years, stations have paid royalties to composers and publishers when they played their songs. But they enjoy a federal exemption when paying the performers and record labels because, they argue, the airplay sells music."

radio has been able to get away with only paying the writers and not the singers/musicians?
that seems a bit unfair to the singers/musicians

"These poor people who didn't plan for retirement are now trying to f*ck up the system."
um, the system has ALWAYS been farked up
the singers and muscians are just trying to make a living
too bad they continue to get screwed by EVERY part of the system, including you
 
2007-05-21 6:16:51 PM  
Hope you like talk radio. Because a lot of the music formats are going down the crapper as it is... this is just the plunger that'll help it along.
 
2007-05-21 6:17:01 PM  
The music manager at the bar I work at has toured with dozens of bands over the years. Pearl Jam, RATM, ACDC, Aerosmith, to name a few. I asked him who was the worst band to work for. He said Diana Ross. One night before a show he handed her the mic and told her, "Ready to go, Miss Ross." She fired him on the spot for not calling her "Miss Diana." He was on a plane home that night.

He said Pearl Jam was the best band to work for.
 
2007-05-21 6:30:11 PM  
Dusk-You-n-Me 2007-05-21 06:17:01 PM
The music manager at the bar I work at has toured with dozens of bands over the years. Pearl Jam, RATM, ACDC, Aerosmith, to name a few. I asked him who was the worst band to work for. He said Diana Ross. One night before a show he handed her the mic and told her, "Ready to go, Miss Ross." She fired him on the spot for not calling her "Miss Diana." He was on a plane home that night.


I have a mate who worked at the Party in the Park in the UK a few years ago with a company called Black Pig. They had their logo as a screen saver on the big screen behind the stage.

During rehearsals Diana Ross threw a total hissy fit and stormed off stage, refusing to perform in front of a "Black Pig" logo, which she found personally offensive.
 
2007-05-21 6:51:52 PM  
Listen, people! Anyone who headlines at Potawatomi Bingo Casino knows what the fark they are talking about.
 
2007-05-21 7:16:03 PM  
Meh. True, the RIAA sucks, but this actually doesn't sound unreasonable.

1. Royalties have been paid to composers and publishers for decades. Why not performers/labels?

2. These royalties to performers/labels have been/are being paid throughout the rest of the civilized world.

3. These royalties are already being paid to satellite radio.

=========================

I think that music copyright should expire after 25-30 years or so. Copyright needs to get back to its original intent-- to encourage people to create stuff that will eventually enter the public domain.

If copyright didn't last so long, artists would be encouraged to keep creating more and better works to compete with their older stuff that entered the public domain.

And 30 years should be more than long enough to encourage people to create. It's not as if some artist gets an inspiration for a new song but think, "fark it. I'll only get royalties until 2037, so it isn't worth the effort."
 
2007-05-21 7:21:59 PM  
Gosling: (lightbulb) Go ahead. Do it. Quick, before you change your mind! (Shhh. Nobody tell these guys that this is the fastest way to not get played on the radio anymore, causing nobody to hear them, causing their CD sales to go off a cliff, in favor of non-RIAA artists. Let them find out for themselves.)


Nope, what will happen is that the RIAA will 'kindly' wave the fees for certain stations, but ONLY those stations who follow the exact rules and regulations the RIAA puts out (aka, you have to play a certain song AT LEAST once a day, but no more than once every two hours) etc etc etc. And you MUST promote the CD every third time you play a song.
 
2007-05-21 7:26:18 PM  
Who listens to the radio anymore anyway? Everything's owned by Sinclair and Clearchannel and they censor the songs to the point where the censorship actually contributes more to the unlistenability of the music than the crappiness of the music itself.
 
2007-05-21 7:28:28 PM  
Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.
As opposed to the rest of us who get paid repeatedly for something we did once 40 years ago?

"After so many years of not being compensated, it would be nice now at this late date to at least start,"
Because composers and publishers (aren't the companies that make up RIAA music publishers?) can't possibly give any money to performers or record labels they are affiliated with.

"The creation of music is suffering because of declining sales," said RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol.
No, there's plenty of good music out there, it's just not associated with RIAA and its vampires.

RIAA just needs to face the music. The way they've done things in the past isn't going to work any more. Alienating the people they want to get money from isn't going to get them more money somehow. This move will only force more music on to the internet and away from their traditional channels. It will make things worse for them because more radio stations will go under.
 
2007-05-21 7:28:51 PM  
"We clearly have a more difficult time tolerating gaps in revenues that should be there."

Heh. This is going to hopefully get the Britney Spears crap off the air.

\\loves local bands. Loves Britney. Loves to imagine her taking it in all her holes.
 
2007-05-21 7:33:16 PM  
Katie98_KT: Nope, what will happen is that the RIAA will 'kindly' wave the fees for certain stations, but ONLY those stations who follow the exact rules and regulations the RIAA puts out (aka, you have to play a certain song AT LEAST once a day, but no more than once every two hours) etc etc etc. And you MUST promote the CD every third time you play a song.


That would constitute payola.
 
2007-05-21 7:33:39 PM  
Nope, what will happen is that the RIAA will 'kindly' wave the fees for certain stations, but ONLY those stations who follow the exact rules and regulations the RIAA puts out (aka, you have to play a certain song AT LEAST once a day, but no more than once every two hours) etc etc etc. And you MUST promote the CD every third time you play a song.

And thus it was that the stations switched to talk radio.
 
2007-05-21 7:38:50 PM  
Good vid on Copyright from a redlighted link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo

Copyright was originally 14 years with an additional 14 year term if the author is still alive...and you had to register for it instead of being auto-copyrighted.
 
2007-05-21 7:44:23 PM  
Gosling: (lightbulb) Go ahead. Do it. Quick

Bing! Winner.
 
2007-05-21 7:49:22 PM  
The end of music on radio. Try selling your crappy cd door-to-door.
 
2007-05-21 7:55:05 PM  
Parody infringement.
 
2007-05-21 8:22:40 PM  
It doesn't surprise me in the least, in this sense: they've gone hard after satellite and Internet radio to try to get more revenue, and broadcast radio surely has more money than any of those radio sources do.
 
2007-05-21 8:22:52 PM  
Radio Station: "So, let me get this straight. You want US to pay YOU to market YOUR FRIGGING PRODUCTS???"
 
2007-05-21 8:23:45 PM  
Action Replay Nick: ....unlistenability....

I got made fun of last week at work for using that word.

Back on topic, I think we should go with Gosling on this one.
 
2007-05-21 8:23:50 PM  
I remember that onion article! I guess the RIAA is losing out, and are looking for another way to bring in $$
 
2007-05-21 8:24:16 PM  
Hmmmnnnn... Here's an idea...

Don't ADD a new fee... just split the current fee with the performers. Stick those evil recording companies that are exploiting the performing proletariate.
 
2007-05-21 8:24:31 PM  
Everybody has a sob story. Everybody wants to be rich and they don't care how it happens. People are so snivelling; they just want to get their peice of financial security and run off with it, indifferent to everyone else, and hide in their tree, glad only that they are not in financial straits and not wanting to be bothered by intellectuals or activists or anyone else questioning the way things are. "I got mine! Don't bother me at home!"

Good Germans. It's not just for Germans.
 
2007-05-21 8:25:23 PM  
The creation of music  torrent of money into executive bank accounts is suffering because of declining sales," said RIAA Chief


Fixed that for them.
 
2007-05-21 8:27:07 PM  
As probably the only Farker to have both owned and operated radio stations, may they rot in hell. Years ago, when I first started, the record companies provided the music for free, in exchange for publicity/air play. Then they decided that was too expensive and made us (small and medium market stations) pay for the product. Plus the "blood sucker" rights companies (ASCAP/BMI/SESAC) get about 6% of the qualified gross (not net) for composer/arrangers. So that's why most stations have gone to either automation or satellite -- expenses are too high to afford salaries for local people and keep the lights on. Royalties for performers will add another nail to the coffin lid.
 
2007-05-21 8:27:49 PM  
Oddly enough, in a free market economy people kill to pay for good content.
 
2007-05-21 8:28:17 PM  
Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.

It's called budgeting and saving for retirement. Most of us do it. I suggest you quit spending money you don't have. How terrible and unjust that you actually have to work to make money. I wish I could get still get paid for stuff I did years ago.

Oh, and I can't recall the last time I heard the Supremes or any Motown song on the radio. I doubt you'd be making much off of radio royalties anyway.
 
2007-05-21 8:28:47 PM  
RodneyToady: "Hope you like talk radio. Because a lot of the music formats are going down the crapper as it is... this is just the plunger that'll help it along."

But then there's the issue of returning to the Fairness Doctrine being discussed on Capitol Hill which is considered to be the torpedo that will end the reign of talk radio.

So maybe it should be "Hope you like dead air"
 
2007-05-21 8:28:56 PM  
awesome. go for it

not only is it the final nail in the coffin for them, but it means the radio stations will start playing more music by local, unsigned and small-label artists in an effort to get new content. content they don't have to pay for. a lot of unknown and cult bands are a hell of a lot better than the shiat they're currently playing.

do it do it do it do it do it
 
2007-05-21 8:29:02 PM  
Katie98_KT: ...I have no idea who Lars Ulrich is..

Of course you don't! Music piracy has made recording artists like Lars a thing of the past.

Either that, or the fact that Metallica has sucked donkey balls for about 5 albums now. But I doubt that would have anything to do with declining sales.
 
2007-05-21 8:29:19 PM  
Katie98_KT: Nope, what will happen is that the RIAA will 'kindly' wave the fees for certain stations, but ONLY those stations who follow the exact rules and regulations the RIAA puts out (aka, you have to play a certain song AT LEAST once a day, but no more than once every two hours) etc etc etc. And you MUST promote the CD every third time you play a song.

You know, for a brief 40 seconds, I read Gosling's post and was amused by the implications. I was filled with a feeling that I vaguely remember as being... hope. Then you came along.

Thank you for killing that feeling inside of me so quickly.
 
2007-05-21 8:29:43 PM  
"Last throes"
 
2007-05-21 8:30:11 PM  
Simple solution really...Radio stations in the largest markets are the ones that the Music Industry wants to play their music. The stations should just charge an "airtime fee" for the Industry to utilize their airtime and wavelength. The cost would just happen to cover the fees the Industry is charging them.
 
2007-05-21 8:31:23 PM  
Oddly enough, in a free market economy people kill to pay for good content.

Tell that to the recording industry. From what I've seen, they're actually hostile to the thought of user input on content. People deciding FOR THEMSELVES which song tracks should comprise a CD is something that RIAA is fighting tooth and claw to prevent at any cost.

Now they're going after radio stations? There is more than just a tiny whiff of desperation in that tactic.
 
2007-05-21 8:31:41 PM  
Anything which destroys radio is fine with me.
 
2007-05-21 8:31:57 PM  
I see a future in pirate radio.
 
2007-05-21 8:32:10 PM  
I wonder if we'll start seeing more pirate radio stations if RIAA goes ahead with this idea?
 
2007-05-21 8:32:13 PM  
Anybody else remember Diana Ross fondling Li'l Kim's boob at (I think it was)the VMAs, and then only a few days later screaming harassment because a TSA worker supposedly brushed her breasts during a routine search?

She's the original diva.
 
2007-05-21 8:32:26 PM  
"Most of the artists in the world are kind of middle-class cats, trying to piece together a living,"

only because the RIAA conspired to keep you middle class. If the RIAA went away maybe the artists could actually make some money instead of being robbed.

Besides corporate radio is a joke anyway... it's all crap.
 
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