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
    Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2007 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: yet again

    They should pay different rates.
    Why? Because you decree it?

    Terrestrial radio is free as is internet stations, however, terrestrial radio & internet radio have different sizes of audiences.
    A statement of the obvious but so what? Royalties are typically based on audience size anyway. And some internet stations have larger audiences than some terrestrial stations and vice versa while some stations are free while some are not. But so what of it? We're talking about different royalties per audience member being charged to different stations based solely on their broadcast technology.

    ...& cost should play a factor when deciding royalties.
    Why should operating costs have anything to do with it? If I drive a gas guzzler should I get free gas? And if I drive an economy vehicle should I pay extra for gas so as to subsidize the free gas for the guzzlers? That sounds like some kind of welfare system to me.

    HOWEVER, i think in all cases, the royalties are already too high.
    I agree but still see no legitimate reason for rate discrimination here.

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