ASCAP, BMI Demanding Payment For 30 Second Previews At Web Stores
from the are-they-insane? dept
It’s been really stunning to see just how little dignity groups like ASCAP and BMI have in trying to suck every last penny out of any kind of musical usage, without ever once considering the damage they’re actually doing to songwriters. It’s as if the folks who run these groups have no concept of the actual impact of their crazy demands. In just the last few months, we’ve seen them try to squeeze more money out of music video games — apparently not comprehending how much those games help promote musicians and sell more product. Then there was the fancy trick, where they claimed that websites that embedded music videos from YouTube had to pay even though they were already getting paid by YouTube directly. They just wanted to get paid twice. And remember back in the summer when they claimed that the ringtone playing on your phone required a public performance license on top of the royalties already paid? They have no shame.
So, I guess it should come as no surprise at all to find out that their latest target is the 30 second previews that you hear on iTunes or Amazon.com. Yes, they’re claiming that those 30 second previews should count as a public performance, and they want to get paid. Now. And they’re asking Congress to make it happen — because, as we’ve been learning recently, if you’re inept at running an actual business, just go to the federal gov’t and ask them to bail you out.
Rick Carnes, the head of the Songwriters Guild of America — and who, we’ve been reliably informed, is a big fan of this site (that’s sarcasm) after our previous articles debunking some of his more absurd claims — explains the situation:
“Yesterday, I received a check for 2 cents. I’m not kidding. People think we’re making a fortune off the Web, but it’s a tiny amount. We need multiple revenue streams or this isn’t going to work.”
Talk about entitlement culture. Because Rick Carnes is unable to structure a smart business model, and thus makes pennies, everyone else needs to just cough up and pay? Yeah… that’s reasonable. How about rather than trying to squeeze every penny out of everyone else (and then funnel it to the top artists instead of the smaller artists, anyway), you spend some time actually understanding basic business models — such as ones where you convince someone that something’s worth paying for, rather than just demanding Congress give you a cut of everything, in a way that harms the very musicians you claim to represent?
And, of course, as the article above notes, it’s a flat-out lie that songwriters aren’t getting paid for a lot of this stuff:
“These guys are afraid that the business model is shifting away from public performances to a model of private performances,” [David] Potter [from the Digital Media Association (DiMA)] said. “This is a turf battle. They are saying, ‘The songwriters aren’t getting paid.’ Baloney. Songwriters are getting paid. They’re paid sync rights and (mechanical) rights. They aren’t getting paid for the public performance in a download because there is no public performance in a download.”
This is a pure money grab by people who don’t want to come up with a business model demanding free cash from those who did come up with a better business model. They’re blaming everyone else for their own unwillingness to adapt.