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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 May 2007 @ 3:09pm

    Promotion is indespensible from licensing

    The quandry as I see it is that the RIAA is in the business of licensing IP, and is seemingly uninterested in promotion- that process is owned by the label.

    But the company can not license IP if it's not promoted. The two are inseparatable from each other.

    The current distribution system is broken, and is focused on each other's back through what seems to be on a handshake and a smile.

    Once senior level folks actually understand potential cost savings and Return-On-Investment required to maintain the current process in comparison to potential new processes or utilizing new entrants into this space, the dam will break.

    It will happen eventually... As a result of people retiring if nothing else. Whoever lands that position- Music 2.0- will be one lucky person. The world will be their oyster.

    In order for a company to survive the times, I firmly believe they need to constantly re-invent themselves, at least every 5 years- Throw the entire process out and reinvent asking "If I was to start this business today, how would I do it?"

    It's tough for the RIAA to do this simply because too many people have their hands in the cookie jar.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.