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
    Mike Raphone, 19 Aug 2009 @ 5:48pm

    Sirius XM Passes RIAA Tax (FEE) On To Consumers

    I am a subscriber to Sirius/XM and I am not happy. I intend to contact my Senator and Congressman to find out why the Government has not forced Sirius/XM to honor the agreement they made with the Government in order to get approval for the merger. Sirius and XM agreed not to raise rates for Three Years. They have actually raised rates by:

    1) Elimnated a benefit, that included in the subscription fee, access to Sirius/XM via the Internet. Sirius/XM is now charging subscribers a fee of $12.95 to listen to their programming via the Internet. Why doesn't the Government considered that charge, an increase in the subscription fee.

    2) The RIAA fee that Sirius/XM now claims to pass on to subscribers, Sirius/XM represents as justifiable. Author Mike Masnick pointed out that Sirius/XM is misleading the FCC and Subscribers because the original subscription fee included payment to the RIAA for using copyrighted music. Sirius/XM management is simply using a small increase in RIAA fees to increase subscriber rates in violation of the merger agreement.

    In my opinion Sirius/XM have violated the terms set forth by the Government to allow the merger. The Sirius/XM company should be forced to refund all increases in rates and fees to subscribers. The company should then be fined for violating the agreement with the Government to obtain the right to merge.

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