Senate Judiciary Committee Approves RIAA Bailout Radio Tax

from the and-so-it-goes dept

Because the federal government apparently hasn't helped the RIAA enough in the past century -- despite repeatedly changing copyright laws to favor the industry again and again and again (and again) -- the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Performance Rights Act, which effectively serves to tax radio stations for promoting music. It's quite obvious to anyone who actually understands radio economics that this makes no sense. After all, the history of radio has always been about payola -- having the labels pay the radio stations to play certain works. That's because the record labels know quite well that airtime leads to more money in terms of promoting an artist and building a business model around music, concert and merchandise sales. To the labels, airplay has always been the equivalent of advertising. That's why they pay for it.

But now they want the radio stations to pay them to advertise the labels' music? Isn't that getting the equation backwards?

This is nothing more than a federal bailout of the RIAA, who still refuses to embrace new business models. Instead, they have to squeeze others and get the government to force them to hand over money. A real business model doesn't involve changing the law. It involves giving others a reason to buy. Apparently, that's too difficult for the RIAA.

As for the claims that a performance license will somehow help musicians, that's bogus as well. First, ask the RIAA's SoundExchange about all the money it keeps for itself and about all the musicians it "can't find." Besides, all this will do is harm up-and-coming musicians. Because radio stations will now need to pay more for playing music, they'll play less music, and if they're playing less music, they'll focus just on the big name acts. Smaller up-and-coming artists should be furious with the RIAA for giving radio stations less incentive to play their works. Remember, this is the opposite of payola. While payola got new records on the air, this will make sure fewer get on the air. But it will sure put a bunch more money in the pockets of the major record labels. So there's that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:14am

    So, do you think that more radio stations might start playing music from acts that aren't represented by the RIAA?
    This could backfire and create a Renaissance of lesser known local acts (relative to each station).
    Or (having not read the Act itself) does this allow the RIAA to collect for ALL music played regardless of the actual affiliation of the music being played?

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:15am

    This may be passé nowadays, but why can't we let the market work this out?

    If you're a copyright holder you can enter into a contract with the radio stations to play your song. If after good faith negotiations they're willing to pay you or if you're willing to pay them, fine. The deed is done. There's simply no need for the government to get involved. None whatsoever.

     

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    Shanoboy (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:16am

    Ah yes, another reason for me to never, ever, ever listen to radio again. My free podcasts and $15 a month Zune pass are all I will ever need.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:17am

    it's not a tax.

    NEXT!

     

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    Call me Al, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:19am

    Anyone takings bets on how long it takes for the major radio stations to call for a bailout of their own. Eventually the government will tax and bailout every single industry, thus gaining a measure of control over every aspect of their citizens lives.

    Perhaps a touch cynical and pessimistic but frankly I don't trust politicians to do what is best for their people anymore.

     

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    adub, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:20am

    Not surprised.

    C'mon, the RIAA has to make money somewhere....

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    The government mandates a set payment under its inherent powers given by the Constitution. How in the frick is that not a tax?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    (DISCLAIMER)Having skimmed the act quickly

    "Establishes a flat annual fee in lieu of payment of royalties for individual terrestrial broadcast stations with gross revenues of less than $1.25 million and for noncommercial, public broadcast stations."

    And
    "(D) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (A) through (C), each individual terrestrial broadcast station that has gross revenues in any calendar year of less than $1,250,000 may elect to pay for its over-the-air nonsubscription broadcast transmissions a royalty fee of $5,000 per year, in lieu of the amount such station would otherwise be required to pay under this paragraph. Such royalty fee shall not be taken into account in determining royalty rates in a proceeding under chapter 8, or in any other administrative, judicial, or other Federal Government proceeding.

    `(E) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (A) through (C), each individual terrestrial broadcast station that is a public broadcasting entity as defined in section 118(f) may elect to pay for its over-the-air nonsubscription broadcast transmissions a royalty fee of $1,000 per year, in lieu of the amount such station would otherwise be required to pay under this paragraph."

    These seem to indicate that you can play a flat fee and not worry about royalty rates if you are under a certain gross profit margin or a college/highschool station, as opposed to proving you aren't playing music that would require a royalty rate. So you don't have to do the work to prove you don't owe them a lot of money if you pay them a flat fee.

    Sound shady to anyone?

     

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  9.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:26am

    Re:

    "Anyone takings bets on how long it takes for the major radio stations to call for a bailout of their own"

    Yeah, nearly every electronic device has a radio in it nowadays. Even the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

    Why are these electronics companies allowed to rake in money while leaching off the broadcasters? It's only right that Sony, Apple, and Microsoft should pay their fair share.

     

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    SteelWolf (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Thanks, Congress. The supermajority "dream team" continues to prove they can't get a single thing right.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    Correction...

    The RIAA was formed in 1952, so it would be difficult for the federal government to help the RIAA over the "past century."

    The RIAA was originally formed for recording standards and then awarding sales levels. It appears that the RIAA got involved in copyright issues in the 1980's (exactly when is a bit fuzzy to me). I also thought the first legislation related to copyright that was influenced by the RIAA was the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992. If correct, that means the federal government has been helping the RIAA for about 17 years.

     

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    Haywood, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:06am

    Radio reality shows?

    When the writers strike stopped TV a while back, TV turned to reality shows to keep something on the air. Radio may do something similar & music on the radio will be but a memory.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:11am

    Mike, you need to learn the true meaning and reasons behind payola.

    Payola existed (and still exists, I am sure) as a way for certain record companies to get certain unknown or less than popular artists increased airtime, attempting to influence the public's opinion of that artist and sell records. Effectively, there was more artists than airtime, so some companies (or individual artist reps) were trying to buy attention for what was likely an inferior product.

    The problem in the long run for radio stations is that they are trying to aggregate listeners to sell advertising. If the music they play isn't the right music (not popular, not the right style, whatever), their ratings go down. Their ad rates would go down.

    Now, here's the tricky part - if their ratings go down, their value as a payola target also goes down. It's the reason the pay for play market in the end doesn't work, because the negative effect on ratings drives listeners to other stations to hear what they want to hear, not what they are being told to hear (your old saw against so many things).

    So radio stations don't want to be part of a payola type schemes because it is short term gain for long term pain. They value of their property is based on ratings, not short term income. A radio station free to play what it wants (according to their playlist) works to keep the public entertained and coming back and profits from that. Turning stations into a pay for play hell would drive consumers away very quickly.

    Remember, broadcast, not narrowcast.

    You need to work to understand the basics Mike, it would help you to understand why radio cannot become purely pay for play 24 hour a day musical infomercials.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    I will research all the names involved and do WHAT I CAN, to make sure I do not support the FOOLS that caved into the RIAA. It is .... FOR THE PEOPLE in this country, NOT THE CORPORATIONS, GET a CLUE!

     

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    Just me, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    All of this is good and well, but you seem to be ignoring that fact that with payola, the label rewarded the station in some way (it wasn't always money...). This new fee makes the stations have to pay the labels because radios stations have the nerve to be advertising their clients.

     

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    Jason, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:23am

    Re: Radio reality shows?

    Yep, look for lots and lots of FM talkers to spring up in the future. The RIAA has gone way to far here. One of my local stations has been running spots warning about this new draconian policy for months.

    Hopefully radio stations will start to fight back against this. Perhaps they can start developing their own record labels and collect their own artists and never ever play anyone on the major record labels again.... One can hope.

     

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  17.  
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    thomas, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Why bother..

    to come up with new business models when you can get the government to come up with new laws to force people to pay you money? It's a great deal cheaper to bribe the various government agencies than to actually try to think about your business. It's the same for the all the content companies, be they newspapers, **AA, or whatever. The government exists mostly to help businesses, not to help people.

     

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  18.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Re:

    You seem to have no concept at all of how radio worked for years on end.
    Please review history and get back to us with what you think about all the years that labels (or whatever their equivalent of the time was) DID pay to get songs on the air.
    You seem to be claiming that if it happens at all, that it controls 100% of the airtime. This is flat out wrong. Each station would have it completely up to their own discretion how much they played of the payola songs and of the popular songs.
    You thoughts seem to fail on several points, but please review history before replying.

     

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  19.  
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    thomas, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: iPhone/Ipod Touch

    neither has a radio.

     

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  20.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:31am

    Re:

    Your implicit premise is that the music labels use payola for the sole purpose of promoting music that could not succeed on its own. And furthermore, that such music is of such poor quality that the ratings of the station would drop if such music was played in too great of a frequency.

    I call BS. Give me some facts to support your argument that the history of payola is solely to get crappy music on the radio. I won't be holding my breath.

    "it would help you to understand why radio cannot become purely pay for play 24 hour a day musical infomercials"

    You're argument is again BS. The same argument could be used against infomercials on TV. Under your argument, TV broadcasters would only play infomercials, ratings would go down, and they'd go out of business.

    Yet that has not happened. Broadcasters are smart enough to balance what they air. They're smart enough to not play only crappy advertisements. If payola was legal, radio broadcasters would do the same thing.

     

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  21.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:34am

    Re: Re: Re: iPhone/Ipod Touch

    Have you been living in a cave or something? This story was all over the news last week.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re:

    Not the nerve, the requirement. You are looking at it backwards, it isn't advertising their clients, they are using the music to attract listeners to sell advertising. They aren't selling music.


    Music is the "FREE!" part used to sell ads,just like Mike says it should be.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:03am

    "This is nothing more than a federal bailout of the RIAA"

    Err... This is nothing LESS than a federal bailout of the RIAA

    Regarding what the people think, who cares what the people think. The government doesn't exist to serve the people, it exists to serve corporate interests at public expense.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:08am

    Regarding what the people think, who cares what the people think. The government doesn't exist to serve the people, it exists to serve corporate interests at public expense.

    In 100% agreement - and this administration has been the worst by far with this 'corporate welfare/entitlement' so far - (and I thought Bush's administration was bad - sheesh)

    People... make sure you remember all this and please go vote - I'm not saying vote for republicans by any means - just NOT these people. I am going to go re-register as independent this week - and that's how I'll be voting, I don't care if they say my votes are 'wasted' or not - I'm going to vote with my conscious; not with what Network news says is the best idea.

    I don't think it's a dem vs. repub issue as much as it is - they both think they can get away with more now.

    This 'two party' charade is getting old. It's not Dem vs. Republicans - it's "them" vs. "us" - the people.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:14am

    Re:

    Yet for all of that, you are still a victim of disinformation, buying the "bailout" mentality on this without really seeing to the end of the story. Slanted "blogporters" like Mike yell "TAX!" when something is not a tax, because they know that you hate taxes naturally, so attaching that word to a story is sure to get you mad.

    Rather than blaming network news, consider blaming all of your sources. It's not as simple as Mike would like you to think.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re:

    It is a tax, the only difference is the money doesn't go to the government it goes to rich and powerful corporations. So it's even worse than a tax.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    Vote for ron paul and Rand Paul.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    Because the money goes to the RIAA, not the government.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    We've reached the point where the pretext behind taxes is no longer pretending it's for the public good and it's so the government can better afford public services. Forget that, we're too powerful to be stopped so lets just outright give the money to rich and powerful corporations without trying to hide it anymore.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:43am

    Mike, I do not understand you. On one hand you want all forms of telephone service to be subject to the same rules (VoIP vs. PSTN). On the other hand when a company like Pandora supports similar rules for both internet radio and traditional radio you are against that. You seem to only be in favor of rules that get you something for nothing. Rules that limit your ability to get something for nothing are a problem. I'm against these kinds of crappy rules and I support getting rid of them across the board - there is no room for applying them when its convenient for me.

     

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  31.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    So radio stations don't want to be part of a payola type schemes because it is short term gain for long term pain. They value of their property is based on ratings, not short term income.


    Interesting. So the "pay-me-now damn the future" business model only works for RIAA.

    Very informative.

     

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  32.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So how does that keep it from being a tax? Almost all of our tax dollars will eventually end up in the hands of non-government entities.

    A tax is when the government uses its inherent powers to force citizens and other legal entities to pay up under force of law. That's what's happening here. Whether the money goes to private schools via vouchers, to the military industrial complex, to a company building roads, or to music labels, it's still a tax.

     

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  33.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    Yeah, I noticed that too. Which, if I think about it, is sort of a good thing. This shows he's not a dogmatist fighting a one-sided war. He's human and is sometimes able to see the other side of an issue.

     

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  34.  
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    Sean T Henry (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    Because they call it a fee?

     

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  35.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    This 'two party' charade is getting old. It's not Dem vs. Republicans - it's "them" vs. "us" - the people.


    I'm Free Capitalist, and I endorse this message.

    "Don't blame me, I voted for Kotos" -- The Simpsons, 1996

     

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  36.  
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    interval, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re:

    The anonymous idiot has a point. If both parties are so foul smelly bad, then maybe it about time we pick from one of the other pools of idiots. If you continually pick a president from one of two sources, and both sources are tainted, well, its not hard to see what the outcome will always be.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:03am

    tick tock, Its 2 minutes to midnight

     

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  38.  
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    eMike (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    time for a change

    The world is probably getting ready for another BMI/ASCAP type split (not that I think we actually need a new licensing organization). Back then ASCAP got cocky and thought that they could charge whatever they wanted for performance rights, much like the collection agencies are doing now, so everybody just stopped performing ASCAP music. ASCAP made the mistake of assuming that the music was more important than the exposure, so BMI was formed.

    If that were to happen today, no amount of legislation could save the RIAA and some new, forward-thinking organization (or no organization, because it's mostly unnecessary) could step up and take its place.

    The RIAA needs to start thinking of itself as a marketing group, but they market things badly now that they can't control the charts (Billboard, etc..) like they used to.

     

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    viperfl (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    Knew there was a reason

    I knew there was a reason why I stopped listening to the radio. If a lot of the music radio stations go under because of this ridiculous act, you won't see me cry any tears. I am sure the RIAA will blame it on piracy since they would never admit that it was because of there failed business.

    The RIAA gets there money no matter what because it's a fee rather than per song. No matter how many songs a radio station plays, the RIAA still gets the same amount. That of course if the RIAA changes the rules and gets a fee plus money per song.

    In the end it will backfire since the musicians will get less airtime which means less money for the musicians and the RIAA.

     

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  40.  
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    anon, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Poo-e

    I haven't heard much decent music come out on the radio at all. This is only going to make the problems worse. The only good part is that perhaps there wont be as much 'poo' being played either.

     

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  41.  
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    Steve, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    no more radio (already banned it anyway)

    The other month, I was driving along the road to work, flipping radio stations when I hear them play play for probably the time that week, and I flipped off the radio in disgust, and I haven't tuned back in.

    Considering all the wide variety of music out there, I'm so tired of the system that plays the *same* songs over and over and over. The whole thing smacks of an old business model where it makes more sense to project and predict the sale of *one* album/song rather than trying to sell a lot of music, in general.

    Now I just listen to classical music on the radio (at least that's original all the time) and last.fm at work.

     

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  42.  
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    Kyote (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Call our Radio Stations or email them

    Maybe we should all call our favorite radio stations or email them and tell them to please NOT play, or pay for, any artists that are affiliated with RIAA. This way RIAA will hopefully die faster. *crosses fingers*

     

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  43.  
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    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:25am

    I smell bribes

    Think about this RIAA, who has lobbyist pushing really hard for this stuipd anti-consumer, line our pockets and screw everyone legistlation, just got a windfall from the "chosen" officials (i say chosen because the elections and money tell the tale). Now the RIAA will have more money to send to their favorite Politicals to get more Taxes (and yes its a Tax, if you dont pay the Government, not the RIAA show up with guns to get the money or shut you down) and thus feed more lobbyist and money into the same Politcal hands... the beasts just feed themselves with the police backing and we ultimately get screwed (Radio gets more expensive for adds, and it causes products that advertise have to pass on that tax, so products become more expensive)

    Freedom is dead in these hands, we have to ignore the media and vote the true statesman into office. Not the empty suits on both sides that just take and take to fill themselves and the lobbyist.

     

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  44.  
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    AnonCow, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Let me get this straight. If I am a music exec, I can charge the radio stations a fee for access to my product and the government will actually support me and vigrouously protect my business interests, but if I am a DJ or station manager and I charge the music exec a fee for use of my product to promote their business, I go to jail?

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re:

    Hmm as someone who fancies that one day he might like to run a legit shoutcast, knowing that I can pay $5000/yr and get away scotch free at the revenue levels I would be dealing with is sort of a relief. I might can bring in the cost of bandwidth + $5000

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Things that won't work to get around the tax

    Some suggestions that people have made will not successfully get radio stations around the tax:
    1) Using non-RIAA artists. The way it works is that the collection societies are collecting in the name of ALL musicians, whether the musicians want it or not. If it is music, then you pay.

    2)Radio Stations form their own labels. Again, they would have to pay the tax. Some of the money would come back to them, but you can bet that a large percentage would still disappear to the collection societies and the traditional labels.

    3)Talk-radio only. Most talk radio stations do play some music. Political commentators often want to play some parody song, for example. It is hard to do a talk show about the entertainment industry without playing at least snippets. The buy-in for the program is fairly steep, and most stations will at least have to do that. Plus, if a lot of stations go talk radio, then you can bet we will see the RIAA back in Congress complaining that talk radio is stealing the airtime they are entitled to, and therefor should compensate them. Because, you know, that is piracy. And it will damage your radio. And it's for the children.

    I know it technically isn't a tax because the RIAA isn't technically the government. However, it is getting to be very hard to tell where the RIAA stops and government starts, so ....

     

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  47.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    On one hand you want all forms of telephone service to be subject to the same rules (VoIP vs. PSTN).

    That's not true. I think VoIP services should not be subject to the same rules as PSTN and have said so. But what I did say was that *if* you connect to PSTN you should have to complete calls to the PSTN. That's it.

    And there's a reason for that: which is that the PSTN is public infrastructure due to rights of way from the gov't.

    That's an entirely different issue than taxing radio stations.

    But if you want to treat everyone equally, then get rid of ALL performance rights taxes. I don't see any reason for any of them.

     

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  48.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re: Correction...

    The RIAA was formed in 1952, so it would be difficult for the federal government to help the RIAA over the "past century."

    RIAA is clearly shorthand for the overall industry.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re:

    Well, we cleary do not agree on the PSTN issue. However, I fully agree with "then get rid of ALL performance rights taxes. I don't see any reason for any of them."

     

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  50.  
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    Vincent Clement, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    No, you'll see more radio stations changing to all talk or all sports formats. You may also see some radio stations go off air.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Correction...

    Sorry, I guess I did not have my translator out. I thought "RIAA" meant "RIAA," not the "overall industry." One would have thought that had you meant "the overall industry," that you would have said so.

    Of course, the "overall industry," if you are speaking of music, had nearly no concern regarding copyright until the 1960's and 1970's, so century still seems an exaggeration. Considering how many times you have called other industries on their exaggerations and distortions, seems like you would be a bit more precise.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Dave, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Pay to play is not illegal.

    " So radio stations don't want to be part of a payola type schemes because it is short term gain for long term pain. "

    The above statement is completely wrong, you have no idea. It is common knowledge that radio stations have been involved in payola scandals. They were busted big time in 2005 by the Attorney General Spitzer.

     

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  53.  
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    JamesGT, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:11am

    Radio Stations

    ...need to just stop playing music.

     

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  54.  
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    Old radio guy / new law student, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    Payola, in its various forms, is mostly used to get more spins for established acts. It could launch a new song or build momentum for new tracks off the same album.

     

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  55.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Correction...

    Sorry, I guess I did not have my translator out. I thought "RIAA" meant "RIAA," not the "overall industry." One would have thought that had you meant "the overall industry," that you would have said so.

    RIAA is pretty common shorthand for the recording industry. Most people understand it. I'm sorry you did not.

    Of course, the "overall industry," if you are speaking of music, had nearly no concern regarding copyright until the 1960's and 1970's, so century still seems an exaggeration.

    That's not true, actually. The 1909 Copyright Act was driven in large part by concerns of the music industry.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Correction...

    Sorry, I guess I did not have my translator out. I thought "RIAA" meant "RIAA," not the "overall industry." One would have thought that had you meant "the overall industry," that you would have said so.

    RIAA is pretty common shorthand for the recording industry. Most people understand it. I'm sorry you did not.

    Fundamentally, you are saying that the RIAA is the recording industry. I disagree with that. There is a vibrant recording industry that has nothing to do with the RIAA. Equating the two merely confuses people who discuss this issue only occasionally.

    Of course, the "overall industry," if you are speaking of music, had nearly no concern regarding copyright until the 1960's and 1970's, so century still seems an exaggeration.

    That's not true, actually. The 1909 Copyright Act was driven in large part by concerns of the music industry.

    At the time of the 1909 Copyright Act, there was no "music industry" as we define it today. Were copyright holders of written music pushing to enact a different copyright act? Yes. However, it is probably more appropriate to say that the "music industry" or the "recording industry," though not the RIAA, which came late to the game, were a result of the Copyright Act of 1909 rather than the other way around.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Things that won't work to get around the tax

    "1) Using non-RIAA artists. The way it works is that the collection societies are collecting in the name of ALL musicians, whether the musicians want it or not. If it is music, then you pay."

    Uhm... where are the laws dictating that it works this way?

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Things that won't work to get around the tax

    Of course, if it does work that way then Mike Masnick is correct, the RIAA is the same as the recording industry. That would be sad indeed.

     

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  59.  
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    Doucehbag, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 3:26am

    Performer's cut of the pie

    Hmmm, although I usually agree with the original poster I do think that radio stations should pay at least something to the performers' union.

    The way it works (at least here) is:

    - radio stations use music to fill the programme between commercials
    - stations get paid for commercials

    They couldn't really sell just commercials without music so they should pay for it. Do radio stations really care about music? I don't think so. Dothey promote acts? Probably, but not intentionally. It's really irrelevant what and whose music they play as long as it sells adds/commercials...

    There are exceptions, of course.

    k

     

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  60.  
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    larry (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: Things that won't work to get around the tax

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Hammer Makers's cut of the pie

    Hmmm, although I usually agree with the original poster I do think that carpenters should pay at least something to the hammer makers.

    The way it works (at least here) is:

    - carpenters use hammers to build things
    - carpenters get paid for building things

    They couldn't really sell things without building them. Do carpenters really care about hammer makers? I don't think so. Do they promote hammers? Probably, but not intentionally. It's really irrelevant what and whose hammers they use as long as it builds things...

    Therefore, carpenters should have to pay a fee to the hammer makers for each and every nail they drive.

     

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  62.  
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    Bluegrassman, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:11pm

    One more reason I'll stick to talk radio only. There's very little "new" music worth listening to these days anyway.

     

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  63.  
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    IsaiahToo, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 7:56pm

    Performance Rights Act

    I think the broadcasters should begin developing their own pay-to-play "Performance Rights Tax” fee-based model. My suggestions are: Free for local labels, $1 per song annually for independent labels, and "the shirts off your backs" from the Big Four labels. Broadcasters may as well help the record labels finish killing themselves off. They're in the process of committing suicide anyway. Why should suicide have to be painless?

     

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  64.  
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    TimC, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 8:41pm

    Hello?! EVERYONE BUT AM/FM radio stations has to pay for performance rights. Internet Radio and Satellite Radio have to pay these fees but local broadcasters DON'T. This just brings the fees inline with what everyone is else is currenly paying. Why does Clear Channel get a special exemption from the fees small internet radio stations have to pay. You do know the NUMBER ONE opponent of this law is CLEAR CHANNEL aka the destroyers of local unique interesting radio stations. Don't cry any tears for the massive radio conglomerates like CC, CBS Radio, Radio One,etc. This just makes unique and independent Internet Radio stations more competitive.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 3:08am

    Re:

    Internet Radio and Satellite Radio have to pay these fees but local broadcasters DON'T. This just brings the fees inline with what everyone is else is currenly paying.

    Two wrongs don't make a right and three certainly don't.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Re: Hammer Makers's cut of the pie

    lol...You know very little about hammers and carpentry, eh? Next time you stop in any major hardware store, go check out hammers. In fact, carpenters care very much what hammers they use, and some do care whose hammers they use.

    However, when hammers can cost hundreds of dollars, most carpenters feel as though they have already paid a sufficient amount to cover each and every nail they drive.

     

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  67.  
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    Decadre (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    And let us not forget that it was the NAB (terrestial radio stations) that lobbied for that to happen.

    I mean seriously NAB, you couldn't see this coming from the RIAA when you lobbied for the genie to come out of that bottle?

    Now you get what you deserve!!!

     

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  68.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Always look on the bright side ....

    This is a good thing .... it will open the radio stations to an unpaid alternative.

     

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  69.  
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    Economists Do It With Models (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Performance Rights Act

    The Performance Rights Act actually does get the government out of the equation. The act repeals a clause in earlier legislation that stated that it is illegal to collect certain types of royalties from radio stations.

    It seems that, in general, media and pro-radio organizations are more interested in spreading propoganda (complete with fun buzzwords like "bailout") than actually understanding the issue.

     

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  70.  
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    Economists Do It With Models (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    Re: shady

    Not really, since the flat fee is only an option ("may elect"), not a requirement. The flat fee option is at least in part to protect smaller radio stations. There are also clauses in the act that give exemtions to religion-based stations and such.

     

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  71.  
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    Economists Do It With Models (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Why bother..

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record...it's super helpful to read the act before commenting on it. The act repeals an earlier royalty exemption that was given to terrestrial broadcasting. Saying "you are no longer prohibited from charging a fee" is not the same as "forcing" anyone to pay the RIAA anything.

     

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  72.  
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    Economists Do It With Models (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 11:58pm

    Re:

    I think this is the best point in the debate yet. In general, I am intrigued as to how the desire for payola and the desire to charge royalties can coexist on a large scale. If we were so worried previously that labels were going to try to pay radio stations to broadcast music, how are we now concerned that the labels are going to charge such a high royalty as to threaten the financial viability of the radio stations? Is it really the case that they would pay to put bad music on the air but charge to have good music put on? :)

    That said, in the interest of fairness it seems like a not entirely terrible idea to loosen the restrictions regardling payola, perhaps allowing it as long as it's disclosed to the listeners, as is the requirement with other forms of media.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    First Amendment, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 4:36am

    This is a good opportunity to compete with the RIAA with demos and lower royalties than RIAA wants. That would be more than they would give us if we sell our souls to them! Is this an RIAA bailout or a MUSIC bailout? The radio has to pay to play our music! If it doesn't play anything but RIAA then we will have a case to make th RIAA drink their own Jonestown KoolAid. Time for some fresh new American Pie.

    RIAA takes money and make no more records, so why not stuff them into an old rotten stagecoach and push it downhill a little faster into oblivion. Otherwise they'll be high on their Cocaine Planes or in their Pimped Limos, what business do they have ruining music, themselves, technology, and what
    now, the government they are now in bed with?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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