Bailing Out The RIAA?
from the there-we-go... dept
And, of course, the most damning argument against the recording industry's demand for money here is the fact that, for decades, the industry has (illegally) had the money go in the other direction. The system of payola has shown, quite clearly, how much the recording industry values airtime, in that it's willing to pay radio stations to play its music.
So, can anyone explain why it's illegal for record labels to pay radio stations to play music, but it's okay for Congress to force radio stations to pay the record labels for playing their music? It defies common sense.
Yet, with a nice push from the Copyright Office, the bill is moving forward, and will face a full House vote. During the Committee debate over the bill, Rep. Daniel Lungren made a perfectly reasonable suggestion: why not wait until the GAO had a chance to do an economic analysis of how the bill would impact radio stations. Considering that the bill is effectively a tax on those radio stations, this seems like a perfectly reasonable idea... but it resulted in Rep. Howard Berman (who represents Hollywood, always) accusing Lungren of trying to kill the bill. Isn't it great when simply waiting to find out what kind of impact the bill might have gets you accused of trying to kill it. Apparently in Congress, it's all about shooting first and asking questions later.
That said, Peter Kafka, over at AllThingsD, has made the best point: most people don't care about this bill because they don't realize that it's really a bill to bail out the RIAA by creating a radio station tax that goes straight into the recording industry's bank accounts. So, rather than call it the Performance Rights Act, it should more accurately be called the Britney Bailout Bill.