Sirius XM Passes RIAA Tax On To Consumers

from the but-of-course dept

Not quite sure how I missed this earlier (update: oops, turns out we didn't miss it -- so consider this an encore presentation), but Bret alerts us to the news that with the ever increasing royalty rates pushed by the RIAA in the form of its "spin-off" Sound Exchange, and codified by the Copyright Royalty Board (for whom I still do not understand how anyone can justify its existence), that Sirius XM has simply added a $2 RIAA tax to everyone's monthly bills to help pay for the new performance royalties. Yup, because the RIAA and its members haven't been able to come up with a business model that works, they get the courts to tax you for listening to your satellite radio (on top of what you already pay and what they already pay to songwriters and publishers) and that gets passed on to you. Just imagine what will happen if the RIAA gets its wish and gets to add a similar tax to terrestrial radio stations as well. If you thought radio was chock full of commercials before...

Filed Under: performance royalties, radio, satellite radio, tax
Companies: riaa, sirius xm


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  1. identicon
    goober, 19 Aug 2009 @ 10:31am

    The RIAA tax has always been there

    The royalty fee has always been an aspect of XM's programming. The difference here is that previously, XM buried those fees in the monthly subscription, and now, they are allowed by a judge to pass them on explicitly.

    The problem with SiriusXM's response (this is for you ED BUSECK), is that the fees only increase by .5%, but SiriusXM used the judges ruling as a justification to pass the entire amount on to its subscribers, rather than just the increase. This has the effect if increasing your monthly subscription, despite promises not to do so as a condition of the merger.

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