RIAA Takes Cue From The Onion: Wants Radio Stations To Pay Up For Promoting Music

from the no,-seriously? dept

You know your business is in trouble when you feel the need to start taking cues from the Onion for ways to squeeze more money out of customers. Last year, it was Verizon, who was found to have copied The Onion's satirical "charge-you-at-a-whim" plan. The latest, as submitted by a few folks, is that the RIAA is following the basic recommendation famously laid out by the Onion five years ago to go after radio stations for "giving away free music." It's not quite that bad, but pretty close. The LA Times notes that the RIAA and some musicians are asking Congress to change the law to force radio stations to pay up for promoting their music. Of course, radio stations already do have to pay some royalties, but they're for composers and publishers. The actual musicians are exempt from royalties because Congress (correctly) recognized that they get the benefit of their music being promoted. However, the new charge is being led by an original member of the Supremes, Mary Wilson, with the support of the RIAA, complaining that she can't just sit at home and collect royalties and actually has to (gasp!) work to get paid these days. Oh, the horror. If only everyone else could sit at home and get paid for work they did forty years ago. In the meantime, she ignores the fact that radio play is a big part of what helped make the Supremes famous allowing her to make any money from her music at all. It's what drove people to buy the records. It's what drove people to go to the concerts. This is just like the musicians in the UK whining about not extending copyright. They're acting as if this is a welfare system, and the government needs to make sure they keep getting paid for work they did decades ago.

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  1. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 22 May 2007 @ 7:33am

    #19, #20, #21

    #19 - That's just my point. If I had the money to buy custom made laws I probably could somehow buy a law that would allow for me to still get paid 20 yr. down the road for support calls I'm doing now.

    #20 - Along with voting with the wallet/purse its just as important to get the word about about the RIAA's underhanded tactics. Two or three years ago I didn't know (or care) about what how the RIAA was acting but I'm a little more informed and I think I'm better for it. It's not like this stuff gets a lot of mainstream media coverage.

    #21 - The Supremes were around in the 60s and 70s but if you go back to the 20s and 30s the musicians of that day had it even worse and I hate to play the race card but it was even worse than that if you were not white. The idea of the entertainment industry screwing the acutal talent out of money is a very old practice. It's pretty obvious that the music industry has enjoyed this position for a very long time but now technology has finally advanced to the point where they can't maintain the stranglehold anymore. So their solution is to buy a few custom made laws from Congress (using the money they've amassed over the years). And as for who she should go after I'm sure those old contracts are tighter than a nun's...innocence. They are probably riddled with all kinds of clauses that prevent her from taking any action so after decades of bitterness she is not concerned with getting her money from the ones that actually cheated her but instead she just wants money no matter where it comes from.

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