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RIAA Seeks Royalties From Radio

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the deja-vu-all-over-again dept.

Music 555

SierraPete writes "First it was Napster; then it was Internet radio; then it was little girls, grandmothers, and dead people. But now our friends at the RIAA are going decidedly low-tech. The LA Times reports that the RIAA wants royalties from radio stations. 70 years ago Congress exempted radio stations from paying royalties to performers and labels because radio helps sell music. But since the labels that make up the RIAA are not getting the cash they desire through sales of CDs, and since Internet and satellite broadcasters are forced to cough up cash to their racket, now the RIAA wants terrestrial radio to pay up as well."

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Give them what they want! (4, Interesting)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219311)

I truly hope they get what they want, it seems like the only thing that could possibly take down Clear Channel.

This would basically ruin both CC and the RIAA. Without the radio telling the masses what to like, CD sales are doomed.

Re:Give them what they want! (5, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219357)

Actually the radio will be telling people who to like. It will be people they can afford (most likely free people in many cases). Sounds like a win for me if the RIAA gets what they want.

Re:Give them what they want! (2, Interesting)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219469)

Actually the radio will be telling people who to like. It will be people they can afford (most likely free people in many cases). Sounds like a win for me if the RIAA gets what they want.
Actually, that could just imply that the ones who make it affordable for radio stations make it less affordable to the consumer. That gives more airtime and more profit...

Re:Give them what they want! (3, Insightful)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219553)

What about MTV? Arn't they telling people what music to like?

No? What? What's "reality TV" got to do with music television? Nothing?... =V

Re:Give them what they want! (5, Funny)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219605)

If I may quote Lewis Black...

MTV is to music as KFC is to chicken.

New Rules Charge Free Music Too! (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219647)

You won't be able to give your music away in the future [slashdot.org] . Giving the MAFIAA a new revenue stream only gives them more money to do more harm. The only place to stop them is at the voting booth.

Re:Give them what they want! (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219735)

Remember that DJs and stupid shock jocks are the voice of radio stations. They aren't exactly the most stable of people, especially if they happen to be facing a pay cut so the station can pay large royalties.

So, actually, it's a win for everyone: (a) RIAA gets their money (b) We get more promotion for cheaper/better/independent music and (c) the death of the overpaid shock jock.

How can anyone be against this?!

Absolutely! Strong support! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219453)

This would drive radio stations to playing non-RIAA music, accelerating the RIAA's demise. There's nothing that could be better for the anti-RIAA forces than having them expensively bite the hand that feeds them new listeners.

I don't know why they're committing suicide this way, but I'll gladly set up the chair and help tie the knot.

Re:Absolutely! Strong support! (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219659)

It may not be suicide when they'll be able to point to the effect on the sales, and lie about it, say "Ahah! Piracy!" Despite the fact everyone (other than them and the legislators) will know darn well they are bringing it upon themselves.

...And they get retaliatory legislation from their lobbyists (using extreme drop in sales as justification) that makes electronic sharing punishable by death, imposes a mandatory computer and CD-tax whose proceeds will be paid to the RIAA, and permits the RIAA to force spyware, cameras, and listening stations to be installed, wherever computers are used.

Appearing to commit suicide in the short term may be the way to get some RIAA-preserving legislation in the long term. I don't know if it turns out to work or not, but it's a possibility.

Re:Absolutely! Strong support! (5, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219731)

Oh this has nothing to do with music sales and traditional broadcast radio. This is still about internet "radio".

Internet "radio" is going back to congress asking to be treated like a real radio station and get back to a zero royalty rate. The RIAA wants to head this off and say that real radio needs to pay too. It won't work, but they are going to give it a go...

Re:Give them what they want! (2, Insightful)

Wansu (846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219465)


  This would basically ruin both CC and the RIAA.

Yeah. Let them eat their seed corn. Gobble it up boys.
 

Re:Give them what they want! (5, Insightful)

mibalzonya (1072126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219535)

It may also mean less music. Instead of the same 8 songs. We will now have the same six songs.

Re:Give them what they want! (5, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219697)

You get 8 songs?! I just get DJs who think they're a lot more amusing than they really are and commercials. I'd love to have a radio station that actually played music.

Re:Give them what they want! (1)

computer_redneck (622060) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219765)

Get Sattelite. If you get Sirius dont listen to Channel 7 in the mornings as Magic Matt is still thinks like he is on the ground and talks over the music.

Re:Give them what they want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219767)

You get 8 songs?! I just get DJs who think they're a lot more amusing than they really are and commercials.

Same here. The music played is essentially zero, meanwhile the DJ's talk talk talk and are only interrupted by the commericals.

That's exactly why I switched to XM. And I've never listened to any of my local radio stations since. No commericals, best of all, no DJ's, and just music.

Re:Give them what they want! (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219695)

That's not correct. Radio stations will pay labels a yearly fee to broadcast music (like in most of the world), but labels will pay radio stations to broadcast exactly the albums the labels want to sell. Are they already doing that? Right, but they'll discover that they have to pay more. It's a zero sum game.

Re:Give them what they want! (5, Interesting)

dotfile (536191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219741)

You'd love to think that, but it's not what would happen. Let's follow the money for a moment...

Clear Channel and the other huge companies could and would pay without even flinching, and just jack up their ad rates to cover the increased costs (and then some, since they can now blame RIAA for pretty much ANY amount of rate increase). Big Media wins, makes more money, gets bigger.

Advertisers now have Big Media sucking up a larger chunk of their advertising budgets, so they have to make cuts somewhere. Since the smaller, independent stations (are there any left?) have to pay RIAA too, their costs go up. With smaller audience shares, they are now even less cost effective than before. Advertisers pull ads from small stations to pay for the ads on big stations, small stations are now in an even bigger hurt than before.

Because the FCC has been spreading its legs for media companies for so long - and Congress is too clueless to notice or care -- Big Media is now able to suck up even more smaller stations as their financial position becomes untenable. Big Media wins again, makes even MORE money, gets even bigger. Talk radio and NPR survive as the only alternative to what Clear Channel, Journal Broadcast and the other handful of winners want you to hear.

This would be a huge long term win for the handful of huge media companies that now control most of the market anyway. Unfortunately, I suspect it would be a Pyrrhic vistory. They've alreay driven millions to satellite radio, and this would probably drive nails into terrestrial broadcast radio's coffin at an even faster rate.

Once the sattelite channels are devoting as much time to advertising as they are to music, we're right back to where we started - buy now you're PAYING to listen to it, which works out far better for the media companies. You're not naieve enough to think THAT won't happen, are you?

Re:Give them what they want! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219755)

It's the JEWS, stupid...
The RIAA are a bunch of jewish shucksters, stealing the public's money, while doing no work themselves...
The jews control your Congress and your media, and you have to work extra hours every day to pay taxes that are then sent to Israel, and are also wasted on the war in Iraq, which is clearly a war for ISRAEL's interests, not America's...

It's the JEWS, stupid.

From the article... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219313)

"Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills."

Yeah because they should be allowed to sit around all day earning money just because they are so great.

Re:From the article... (5, Funny)

weorthe (666189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219485)

Remember kids, listening to the radio is STEALING!!!

Re:From the article... (3, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219599)

If the radio stations are making money by playing the Supremes' music, I can see why she might say that.

Re:From the article... (5, Insightful)

605dave (722736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219683)

That's funny, because the radio station owners are sitting around making money because of how great she was...

Re:From the article... (1)

morphiussys (1017948) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219737)

Not that I support her claim, but none the less ... think about the social security system. In my opinion, I believe it is there for the simple fact that the government is "rewarding" tax payers for so many years of paying taxes. Along with retirement funds, this lets the older generation live (sometimes) comfortably in their later years.

From her point of view, she wants to retire. She has had a long and successful career, and is now ready to relax (with select appearances here and there). To her, the royalties are like a social security check ... its not much compared to what she currently has, but its something she can maybe blow on her grandkids, or indulge herself in whim. Either way, it sounds like this is (more or less) her position.

That being said, what do you think the lesser of the evils are?

Pipe Dream (4, Insightful)

Mercedes308 (832423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219317)

Pfff, it won't fly. The radio industry is too strong collectively for this to work. Plus also how could they even get close to having this accepted internationally?

Re:Pipe Dream (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219335)

It may or may not work here, but in most of the world radio pays a performance right, so it is very well accepted internationally.

Re:Pipe Dream (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219687)

Though instead the radio-stations are PAID to pay to play certain music. So the gain for RIAA is not monetary, but better control over what the radios are playing.

Radio pays performance right in US (0, Redundant)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219699)

Just not to RIAA, they pay the writers of the songs through ASCAP, which is like the song writer's version of the RIAA. I worked for a guy who wrote a song that actually got some air time on the radio, and he eventually got some checks in the mail. Note that artists who write their own songs actually make money when they are played on the radio, too, but the ones that don't, don't make any money from radio play.

See: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,7 89776,00.html [time.com]

Great is ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). To ASCAP belong about 1,450 composers and writers and about 130 music publishing houses in the U. S. ASCAP holds the performance rights to their works. ASCAP collects royalties for its members, deducts about 20% for operating overhead, 10% more for the 20 foreign performing-rights societies with which it is affiliated. What is left is allocated, 50-50, between composers and writers and publishers. Distribution to individuals is arbitrary, based not upon number of performances but upon ASCAP's fixed ratings.

Radio, the juiciest source of ASCAP royalties, pays the society monthly on a contract basis, muttering horrible epithets. The present contracts, under which individual stations pay 5% of net receipts plus varying fees, networks pay nothing, expire next December. Last month ASCAP revealed the terms of the next contract: 3%-5% for individual stations, 7½% for the networks. Radio paid a total of $4,300,000 last year, would pay as high as $8,500,000 (its own estimate) in 1941. Last week the two major networks, CBS and NBC, gave their answer: nothing doing. For the first time they had a weapon with which to hit back.

Founded last fall, with stock owned by broadcasters, was Broadcast Music Inc., a music pool intended to rival ASCAP (TIME, Sept. 25). Last week B.M.I, issued its first catalogue: six songs, (sample: We Would Make Beautiful Music Together) which to many a broadcaster sounded sweeter than any of ASCAP's.

Re:Pipe Dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219351)

Internationally, they already do pay royalties on radio.

Re:Pipe Dream (1)

Mercedes308 (832423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219629)

I stand corrected, cheers.

Re:Pipe Dream (4, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219389)

Well we've always had this here in Britain, and it seems to work. If the RIAA do manage to pass this in the US, I think their main problem will be explaining to artists why they don't get any of the new revenue.

Re:Pipe Dream (1)

serialdogma (883470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219643)

I would say that royalties are not the decisive factor in the state UK radio, I would personally put it that the BBC and stronger regulation has saved the UK from the likes of Clear Channel. Clear Channel, in the UK own a great many venues, and to some extend operates some large festivals (Glastonbury is the first that comes to mind); the latter of which involves paying the artists.

At a somewhat interesting side note they are also one of the largest billboard advertising companies in the UK.

Re:Pipe Dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219777)

Well we've always had this here in Britain, and it seems to work. If the RIAA do manage to pass this in the US, I think their main problem will be explaining to artists why they don't get any of the new revenue.
They don't have any problem explaining that in Britain, why would they have any trouble explaining that in the US? Choose from any of the following:
  • "Put up and shut up"
  • "Good luck getting a contract anywhere else if you don't like it"
  • "Gee, it would be a shame if something got damaged, say, your popularity for instance..."
  • etc.

Re:Pipe Dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219455)

Radio stations in the UK already pay royalties.

IMO it's quite reasonable for stations to pay and I cannpt believe stations in the USA have been paying nothing. It's hardly ruined the UK radio industry.

Re:Pipe Dream (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219761)

That was basically why John Peel did his programme. By broadcasting music performed live by bands not yet signed to a label, the BBC neatly avoided paying any royalties on it. Until the 1970s at least, the BBC even used to press their own records for distribution to their own radio stations. This way, they would only ever have to compensate the songwriters, and not the record labels (since there are separate copyrights in a song and a recording of the song).

Also, if you have a radio in a workplace which by accident or design is audible to members of the general public, you are supposed to pay royalties; even though the radio station (BBC or local) has already paid them!

I think radio stations already pay ASCAP and BMI (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219589)

Pfff, it won't fly. The radio industry is too strong collectively for this to work


Strange. Someone who worked in radio once told me that radio stations kept records of what songs they played in order to pay royalties to ASCAP and BMI (a penny or two a song, I think). So I believe this is still the case. I always wondered if the RIAA would try to get a share, too.

Anyway, if radio stations can't avoid paying ASCAP and BMI then how successful would they be in fighting off the RIAA?

Excellent! (5, Interesting)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219327)

One of 2 things will probably happen:

    1) RIAA offends the courts by trying to reverse Congress and fails, and loses some steam and (more) public credibility (with those who think they have any).

    2) RIAA bribes the right people and that law gets reversed, which then costs our country its music-playing radio stations and the music industry loses the majority of its sales.

I'm failing to see a down side....

Re:Excellent! (5, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219395)

"2) RIAA bribes the right people and that law gets reversed, which then costs our country its music-playing radio stations and the music industry loses the majority of its sales."

As somebody already pointed out the rest of the world gets by paying a fee for radio play. What this WILL mean is that you'll end up with the bland "selection" of national radio that other Western countries have. I was always surprised at how diverse the US music industry was but I didn't realise your radio stations got a free ride. Now it makes sense and I'm sure this would mean less exposure for niche artistes. Gotta love an industry that's trying to hammer nails in its own coffin.

Re:Excellent! (2, Interesting)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219603)

What this WILL mean is that you'll end up with the bland "selection" of national radio that other Western countries have. I was always surprised at how diverse the US music industry was but I didn't realise your radio stations got a free ride.
We already have a bland "selection" of mostly-national radio. The stations are nominally "local", but by some miraculous coincidence, they all play the same music and the DJs all sound the same. I pay $12.95 a month so I don't have to listen to our "diverse" FM radio.

Diverse? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219617)

Amarican radio is not particularly better than European radio - both are more of the same and still more of the same. Which is probably because that sums up American and European music pretty well. Go listen to some Japanese music.

Re:Excellent! (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219657)

What this WILL mean is that you'll end up with the bland "selection" of national radio that other Western countries have.


We already have that. Practically all rock, adult contemporary, etc. stations play the same thing...

Re:Excellent! (1)

Kymri (1093149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219403)

I think that if this manages to trip through it'll be the RIAA moving away from shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe to a knee or something now.

I don't have any statistics except what lurks in the demented swamp I call a forebrain, but it seems to me that if this happens, the first and most obvious effect will be that smaller, local stations take a hit. Kiss KCDX good-bye! (At http://www.kcdx.com/ [kcdx.com] for those who care) and other less-unusual stations.

This will leave us with radio stations in three broad categories. Talk/news radio, ClearChannel (and Cirrus and such), and the college stations (and other stations that play 'off the map' music). You'll get the current 'corporate pop', you'll get the fringe stuff, but I suspect there'll be quite a decline in the availability of anything ELSE on terrestrial radio.

And then, of course, this will cause the RIAA to lose money on stations that close (though they weren't getting royalties before, so it'll still be a net gain), but the far, far bigger impact will come when there's less impetus for any new music sales other than the big stuff (Kelly Clarkson and others like her) that the corporate labels want to push. Declining revenues will push the RIAA to install monitor chips in everyone's brainstem, to debit your account every time you hear, sing, hum, or read the lyrics to something they have the rights to.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Heywood J. Blaume (858386) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219691)

I think you're right. Anyone remember hockey? Each group with an interest in the sport (players, owners, ???) decided they weren't getting a big enough piece of a wildly overestimated pie, so everyone threw a fit and closed down the sport. And guess what? Nobody cared. Now they're a shadow of their former self. I predict the same for big corporate music. (In fact, big corporate any-kind-of-entertainment appears to be headed down the same drain).

Re:Excellent! (1)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219475)

I have to agree - but what really interests me is how ably the RIAA are undermining the whole point of their paltry existence. The ability for young bands to produce their own music is moving along at a fair pace - customers are more able to peruse alternatives music sources online... surely it is just a question of time before the middleman's (and thuggish sidekick the RIAA) become irrelevant? Oh, it's already happening [bbc.co.uk] . So for the RIAA to alienate music listeners (customers) further beggars belief.

Nice idea for a protest? (5, Interesting)

irexe (567524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219331)

I'd like to see all radio stations play only independent music for one day. See how the RIAA likes that..

One step ahead of you, I'm afraid. (2, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219703)

I'd like to see all radio stations play only independent music for one day. See how the RIAA likes that.

Do you really think the MAFIAA and US government would tolerate such disrespect? They want to be able to charge against the will of the artist and publisher [slashdot.org] and may already have it. Something needs to change.

Paul Harvey all day (1)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219339)

If terrestrial radio falls, we will be left with nothing but talk radio. Paul Harvey all day!? NOOOOOO!!!

Re:Paul Harvey all day (2, Funny)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219439)

Relax, man, there's always Dr. Laura.

Re:Paul Harvey all day (1)

thetable123 (936470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219495)

More Don and Mike!

I don't think this would go over well..... (2, Interesting)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219343)

I'm just hoping maybe.... the judges will know what the hell radio is and realize and understand exactly what the RIAA is doing and not get confused/persuaded other ways by some techno-speak in the past.

Re:I don't think this would go over well..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219409)

Nah, the judges will probably wonder why The Lone Ranger [wikipedia.org] was taken off the air.

Then they'll get upset about it, declare everyone guilty, sentence everyone in court to be hung, and break down crying uncontrollably.

Re:I don't think this would go over well..... (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219593)

the judges will know what the hell radio is and realize and understand exactly what the RIAA is doing

Right. The radio is like a series of tubes with trucks running through them...not to be confused with that interweb thingy which is in your computer. Music can run through those tubes, too, but it's a different kind of tube with a different type of truck. Not like one is Ford and the other is Chevy kind of different. Really different. So you got your tubes and there's music running through the tubes and now RIAA will give your Congressman a lot of money so they can get paid for the music in the tubes.

Just wanted to clarify that for the judges who may be confused.

In Soviet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219345)

In soviet radio RIAA pays you!!

1. Mp3 downloads
2. Internet radio
3. Terstrial radio
4. Profit

Re:In Soviet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219371)

What exactly is terstrial radio?

You post Soviet Russia jokes like you rode the short bus to school.

Re:In Soviet (-1, Redundant)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219417)

In Soviet Russia, the short bus drives YOU!

Re:In Soviet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219557)

I know this invokes Godwin's law. But the RIAA is nothing more than a group of neo-nazi's out to destroy the music industry piece by piece. Sure they say they are helping the industry, but hitler said that he would help Germany too...

I always find it unnerving... (5, Interesting)

dbolger (161340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219359)

...when reality and The Onion collide: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/27696 [theonion.com]

Re:I always find it unnerving... (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219399)

Me too, just went over it to see if the times perhaps lifted the story from the onion, but sadly it looks to be the real deal.

Re:I always find it unnerving... (5, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219523)

Sometimes it's just downright hilarious.

The Onion, February 2004 [theonion.com] :

Stop. I just had a stroke of genius. Are you ready? Open your mouth, baby birds, cause Mama's about to drop you one sweet, fat nightcrawler. Here she comes: Put another aloe strip on that fucker, too. That's right. Five blades, two strips, and make the second one lather. You heard me--the second strip lathers. It's a whole new way to think about shaving. Don't question it. Don't say a word. Just key the music, and call the chorus girls, because we're on the edge--the razor's edge--and I feel like dancing.

CNN, September 2005 [cnn.com] :

Gillette has escalated the razor wars yet again, unveiling a new line of razors on Wednesday with five blades and a lubricating strip on both the front and back.

Re:I always find it unnerving... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219625)

What about libraries? They do a lot of sharing. Commie bastards! Not sure if that was on the Onion. There was a cartoon I saw somewhere which had a guy whistling in the shower and some guys in suits standing at the bathroom door.

Re:I always find it unnerving...That Lars Ullrich (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219631)

Lars Ullrich does receive royalty payments for his songs being played as a fee is paid each time a song is played on Radio or TV in the UK and also in Ireland. I do not know about the rest of Europe* but I do know this the distribution system sucks.

A musician from outside Athlone in Ireland had an inspector call asking where his IMRO (Organisation that collects royalties) license was. He went into his office and threw the cheque that IMRO had sent him of 25p (Roughly 35 to 45 cents) at the inspector.

Meanwhile we are told that poor starving former Glasnevin inhabitant Bono (and his pals) receive a large amount of money because it is estimated that they get the most plays.

*I suspect France does as 25% of radio plays has to be local (in French) meaning that Celine Dion gets 9000+ plays for Pour Que Tu M'aimes Encores? as she is ... (Proof that there is a huge loophole in the French law)

Late addition. Won't you please think of the lawyers? They would be out of work without cases like this happening!

This is going to backfire.... (5, Interesting)

RenegadeTempest (696396) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219361)

This is great news. There are only like 2 big radio conglomerates out there. They typically replay the same crap that the labels spoon feed them over and over again. Now, let's say they have to PAY to play that crap. Wouldn't it make sense to maybe play local stuff that doesn't cost a dime? Maybe it makes sense to play those albums that are not covered by the RIAA?

The best part is that if this is instituted it must be instituted across the board. They can't give radio stations breaks on a specific song over another. If they do, then this is payola. You can't pay radio stations to play your song. A discount on royalties is the same as paying them. Maybe we might hear some variety on the radio.

Again, another strategy not thought out to the logical conclusion.

Re:This is going to backfire.... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219411)

Exactly. Infringing on the rights of RIAA singers is hurting small time musicians, not the RIAA. I think the RIAA and small time musicians should band together to get this law changed, then the RIAA rubbish can get ignored by the radio.

Re:This is going to backfire.... (4, Informative)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219507)

Nice idea in theory but in practice I just don't think it will work like that. Here in the UK Radio Stations already pay the record companies for what they play and you will find that most of them do exactly what you describe above, i.e play the same crap the labels spoon feed them over and over again.

There are maybe a couple of hours each week when it possible to hear some decent music on the radio here but other than that you may as well forget it.

The operation was a success, but the patient died. (5, Informative)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219579)

I agree, it's going to backfire big time.

A long time ago my father (a construction worker) told me why you didn't see many houses made out of brick in California. Seems the bricklayer's union became way, way too successful and powerful, demanding more and more pay up to the point where people couldn't afford brick construction any more and moved to frame and plasterboard houses with tar shingle roofs (this was back in the early 50's). Basically they priced themselves out of the market, but they couldn't roll back their demands due to the nature of the organisation, and their leaders chose economic death over political death as an organisation because people are funny that way.

As Hawkeye once said, the operation was a success but the patient died.

Funny thing though, the frame houses seemed to flex a bit but the brick houses tended to rubble during earthquakes, lovely Aesopian message there.

Off-topic? No, just a very extended metaphor. The RIAA will eventually have absolute control over a commodity that absolutely nobody will buy. And when they start annoying Congressmen more than their lobbyists are worth by stepping outside the bounds of their anointed playing field, they're going to get slapped down hard. Nobody has a right to make money, the market has to be there, and RIAA is killing the goose.

Re:This is going to backfire.... (4, Interesting)

ribuck (943217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219665)

Unfortunately, it won't backfire. The same thing happened in 1969/1970 in Australia. The main radio stations stopped playing the big-label records that they would have had to start paying for. Instead, they played music from the independent labels, who were happy to not demand a royalty.

It lasted about six weeks before the radio stations capitulated. Their listeners wanted music from the big names.

Sounds fair to me (5, Insightful)

grimJester (890090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219363)

From TFA:

Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.

Yes, it's unfair that people are forced to work to pay their bills. There should be free money for all with no incentive to work. In a perfect world, congress should force everyone to pay record companies money, so record companies could distribute the wealth in whatever way they see fit.

Re:Sounds fair to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219685)

There should be free money for all with no incentive to work.

It is actually not impossible to give a minimum wage to everybody. Those who want more can work, those who are happy with the minimum shouldn't. There is enough money to do this. Some staff at the Brussels Free University did some calculations about such a scheme. There is in Belgium even a party [vivant.org] which tries to get this trough.

You are not far off. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219763)

In a perfect world, congress should force everyone to pay record companies money, so record companies could distribute the wealth in whatever way they see fit.

Gee, that would be like them collecting money from strangers without any investment or effort. Why not just let them collect money for every song played regardless of ownership or artist intent [slashdot.org] ? That would achieve the same thing because people are always going to want music. Like media taxes for "piracy", the new rules are closer to the nationalization of recorded music than most people realize.

Awww, diddums (4, Insightful)

larien (5608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219365)

Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.
So you have to keep working to get money? What a novel concept. No-one else in the population has to work until retirement age, do they?

"The creation of music is suffering because of declining sales," said RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol.
The implication is that people aren't writing music because they're not getting enough money and no-one will ever want to be in a band because of it. I'll take that with a large pinch of salt. However, the next line really clarifies his position:

"We clearly have a more difficult time tolerating gaps in revenues that should be there."
Translation: we're not making enough money.

Re:Awww, diddums (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219727)

The implication is that people aren't writing music because they're not getting enough money and no-one will ever want to be in a band because of it. I'll take that with a large pinch of salt. However, the next line really clarifies his position:


Really? Wow. That's strange. I personally know at least 10 people who are all either part of various bands, work solo, or collaborate with several different bands and artists who write, perform and record music and, for the most part, don't make enough money from this work to even cover the costs of doing said work. While all of these people hope one day to get a recording deal, none of them do it for the money. They do it because it's what they do and they love to do it. Most figure if they pursue it long enough that eventually they make some money. But if they don't, oh well, at least they had fun doing it.

My guess is that these people are hardly unique or rare in those aspects.

Who will pay these fees in the end? (1)

DutchMasterKiller (1003736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219367)

I wonder who is going to pay for this since the artist wants his music on the radio. Record company pays radiostations fees to play their song on the radio. So in the end nothing will change, the music isn't going to get any better. The rich stay rich kind of thing...

Congress (1, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219385)

It all depends on how corrupt Congress is ... we're in deep trouble!

Double standard (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219387)

So wait, the law acknowledges that radio infringing on the rights of musicians is okay because it encourages people to buy the music. However illegally downloading it doesn't do this? WTF? How are the two different. I understand the RIAA's logic here. If one has a particular rule then the other should as well. Now having said that, I think the RIAA and I differ on which rule should be moved to which system ;)

What the RIAA doesn't realize (2, Interesting)

starX (306011) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219441)

Is that Clear Channel has lots of expensive lawyers, too. Also, even if this does work, it would be like taking a sawed off shotgun to their one remaining foot. When are these guys going to figure out that their business model just doesn't work anymore and will likely never work again?

Re:What the RIAA doesn't realize (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219547)

Yes, the RIAA clearly have no idea that Clear Channel have a lot of lawyers. Why, I expect they don't even know who Clear Channel are. I expect they're simply doing this for the sheer hell of it, who needs research ?

You should mail them right away and let them know what a big mistake they're about to make. I'm sure they will be *very* pleased.

Silly RIAA... (5, Insightful)

beerdini (1051422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219457)

They are attacking their own advertisers now. Most people purchase music after hearing it, which they usually hear it on the radio. Lets fast forward 5 years pretending this is successful. Radio stations are now put out of business because of lawsuits or refusal to pay the RIAA's ransom so as CD sales continue to fall; that will leave the RIAA scratching their heads wondering why, when they just killed their most wide spread advertising tool.

Whats next? Suing stores that play music inside for shoppers?

Re:Silly RIAA... (1)

Selivanow (82869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219615)

Um, actually, you are required to pay a licensing fee to be "allowed" to pay music for shoppers. It falls under "public performance"

Desperate measures (1)

Nodamnnicknamesavial (1095665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219471)

Ok, how about all media outlets just stop playing music at all for ... like a month. Then see what THAT does for the music business.

If their sales improve, they may have a case - if not, ... well.. the RIAA taking a long walk on a short peer comes to mind

Idiots (5, Interesting)

aysa (452184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219497)

This will be the last nail in their coffins. I do not need to explain why, it is abvious for any person with a little sence.
Of course, RIAA has bacome senceless long ago and its own worse enemy.

Like the old fable of the scorpion and the frog.

A scorpion asks a frog for help crossing a river. Intimidated by the scorpion's prominent stinger, the frog demurs.
``Don't be scared,'' the scorpion says. ``If something happens to you, I'll drown.'' Moved by this logic, the frog puts the scorpion on his back and wades into the river. Half way across, the scorpion stings the frog.

The dying frog croaks, ``How could you -- you know that you'll drown?''
``It's my nature,'' gasps the sinking scorpion.

Sting the radios, RIAA, and sink alone. They will start promoting indie labels.

I'm not sure what the big deal is. (1)

JoeD (12073) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219541)

It's not like the radio stations aren't paying money to play music right now - they are. They pay money to the composer and the publisher.

All they're asking is that the artist and label get paid, too. Satellite radio and Internet radio have to pay the performance royalty. Why is broadcast getting the special treatment?

Onion article, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219563)

At first, I thought Slashdot had been duped into posting an Onion article [theonion.com] on a similar topic.

Here comes 24/7 wall 2 wall 'talk' radio (1, Troll)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219567)

This will be the end of music on radio. Period. AM radio is barely a blip on the screen relegated to church broadcasts and a few EIB partners now that 'talk' radio is moving to FM. There is already quite a track record of success using the 'talk' radio format. So when the RIAA does this, the radio stations I don't think will waste a lot of money fighting it. They'll just pull the plug and go to a 100% 'talk' radio programming schedule. I'm mixed about this. On the one I have zero tolerance for windbaggery and Crazy Redneck Libertarian Assholes in Stereo. On the other hand music on the radio truthfully died years ago. The only 'music' on the radio is Ballad Rock, "Country" and the meekest R&B/Hip Hop. So let that die. Even college stations are dropping music programming.

It will be a shame I guess to lose some of the more esoteric stuff like the all Jazz format of WSHA or the weekend world music programs on some of the left side of the band college and public radio stations. But if it means that that the RIAA has to eat dog food and sleep in a cardboard box on the sidewalk then it's worth it.

At the risk of being very unpopular... (3, Interesting)

zuki (845560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219587)

....and although I am usually in a particularly bad disposition against most anything the RIAA has been doing recently.

I think that at the very least there is something to be said for this. If anything, the radio stations are racking up
income hand over fist from all of those insipid commercials we are forced to listen to, and it would only seem fair
that besides the songwriters and publishers (who are justly being compensated), the owners of the sound recordings
also get a piece of that income, which wouldn't affect talk radio, news and sports stations, but mostly for those stations
who have a 'music format', said music being the main reason they are able to remain in business.

This exemption business was something that was passed more than a half-century ago, originally allowed to support the massive investment
buildout in infrastructure which radio had to go through, long since recouped, and the fact that it still stands today shows the colossal power
of the lobby behind the stations/conglomerates such as Clear Channel.

This makes the RIAA's position that Internet broadcasters have to pay a bit more sensible, although totally irrelevant to the reality of the Internet.
Being that records are not selling that much anymore, and that people still listen to terrestrial radio quite a bit, it would make sense that some
of the income stream commercial radio is deriving from music should be used to give people an incentive to create more of the same material
the stations are using to earn income with.

I really don't see what's far-fetched or ludicrous about this; there should however be exemptions for not-for-profit, college radios, and low-power transmitters.

Z.

Re:At the risk of being very unpopular... (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219725)

When I was in college radio in the early '80s, the record companies would give us about 70 ablums (vinyl) a week. These were all little known bands like "The Android Sisters", "U2", and "REM". If we wanted a copy of the latest "Sting" album, we had to pay for it ourselves. Well, "U2" and "REM" became big, the "Android Sisters" faded into obscurity, and all was right with the world.

If the excemption is passed, *all* radio stations will be more like college radio. The record companies will have to give the little know stuff away just to get air time. This could concievably level the playing field so that small bands could actually compete with "Madonna".

Radio Stations will adapt, and only play the expensive stuff during peak times when it will get them the most listens for their advertisers. During most of the day, and the evening hours they'll be able to play the free stuff from independent artists. It might even mean that stations will have to hire an actual program director to seek out local artists that appeal to locals.

Why weren't they in the first place? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219601)

Surely it should have been up to the rights holders how much they charge. Not government. If they want their music to be advertised, they should decide with the radio station how much the music is worth the the radio stations revenues, how much the advertising is worth to the label and sort out a price based on these facters. Who decided that these two numbers should be the same?

All the record industry is asking is that those who distribute their music be obliged to pay a royalty. Since this is the way the copyright system is supposed to work, this exception seems ludicrous.

is this about money? (5, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219609)

From the summary: But since the labels that make up the RIAA are not getting the cash they desire through sales of CDs, and since Internet and satellite broadcasters are forced to cough up cash to their racket.

I mean seriously. Are these people hungry? Are they homeless? Are they unable to pay their bills? Is their mansion really too small?

I ran into a former owner of a CD store in a college town a few years ago, and she said that she had to close down because CDs were not selling, so she sold the business, and started another one. She said explicitly that downloads hurt her bottom line, but oh well, times change, and she had to change with the times.

I mean, how many steam engine engineers are trying to sue these new fangled gasoline, oil, diesel, electric, fuel cell, etc engineers? Or their customers, or their kids, or dead people?

To me, this is some kind of psychological or socioligical problem that is not properly addressed as such, and the bottom line is that _everybody_ is losing because of it. The real problem is that the government is an accessory to their psychological/sociological problems, because I guess they have the same issues.

Why isn't the government or anybody concerned about real issues like national debt, health care (oxymoron) reform, energy costs, housing costs, and the stuff that actually affects real people that are real problems. I mean, if nobody bought a 1970s technology like a CD is ever again, would it really be a big deal?

Is this kind of sociopathy just "normal" when a society is collapsing on itself? Does anybody know what the real issues are here? This is a control/powertrip thing that makes no sense.

Wonderful! (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219635)

I haven't heard a better idea in a long time.

RIAA has to fight it out with Clear Channel, which definitely has the resources to fight them.

This will finally get public attention on copyright, royalties, and how aggressively the RIAA has been acting for the past several years. Most people don't know much about internet radio, but they know plenty about the noise box that keeps them entertained as they drive to and from work.

Then, if the RIAA are successful, they'll be making unsigned and non-RIAA artists who will happily sign royalty-free contracts, far more attractive to radio stations. More radio play, means more sales, which means real competition with RIAA.

I see a huge upside, and very little downside, for the public.

Onions make me teary... (1)

Lumbergh (1053438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219637)

It's kind of sad, I would say, when life imitates The Onion [theonion.com] .

I agree with part of it.. (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219651)

First off let me say I think it is reasonable for an artist (or a label) to want compensation for music played on the radio. BUT why does the RIAA fucking monopoly have to get in there all the time? Why should the RIAA / Congress decide how much airplay is worth to the artist or the radio station? Why not create a market where each artist / label could decide the price of each song? Then if you want publicity you could set the price at zero. If you think you are doing the radio station a favour letting them play your music set the price high.

All the systems are automated these days anyway, the could add this if they wanted.

Irony, +1 (-1 for the rest of us) (2, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219669)

It's sad that after so many predictions by the RIAA of the demise of commercial radio...

The recordable tape cassette? People will just record what they want and never listen, it will be the END OF RADIO!
DAT? People will just record what they want and never listen, it will be the END OF RADIO!
Burnable CDs? People will just record what they want and never listen, it will be the END OF RADIO!
MP3s over the internet? People will just record what they want and never listen, it will be the END OF RADIO!
...the ones ACTUALLY killing radio are the RIAA themselves. Sad, predictable, and ironic all at once.

Coming soon... (1)

Kredal (566494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219673)

Coming soon, to a radio station near you! 5 minutes of uninterrupted music, followed by a short (30 minute) commercial break.

This next song, Junk, by the Trash Brothers, is brought to you by Gillete Razors, Mountain Dew, Coca Cola, and Serta Matresses.

Radio stations will have to make more money to pay these extra royalties, and how will they do that without playing more commercials and less music?

SBSP (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219675)

Spongebob: [voice over]"At least I'm safe in my own mind...." Patrick: [voice over]"At least I'm safe in my own mind...." Spongebob: "Ack!!!"

When does it end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19219693)

If this passes, which I doubt it will, what is next? Will coffee shops and restaurants be required to pay? Maybe the grocery stores. Or perhaps even chargeing you for every time you play a song on your CD or mp3 player. Their greed knows no end.

No One Is Safe! (1)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219705)

Well, after all the hubub surrounding the Internet royalities stuff, I can't see how this is going to work at all in their favor...

I think this is a desperate move on their part as they head into the death-throes. Expect a lot of news about label "kick-backs" and stuff like that to be dredged up in response.

RIAA Doublecharges to Fund their Political Control (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219715)

The RIAA's member labels already collect royalties for songs played on the radio. Radio is not exempt from those royalties - in fact, they usually make up the majority of the income a recording produces, now that songs get played over and over, forever, in our pop/classic corporate "rock" broadcast culture.

Those "performance" royalties are collected by whichever agency represents an artist who wrote the songs: BMI, ASCAP are the biggest, the remaining <10% of artists are represented by a couple of "big little" agencies, and then a bunch of really little ones. But those agencies are at least as corrupt as the record labels which collect sales income, then find every excuse to count "expenses" before returning the minimum (if any) share of "profit" to the artists who made the record. Very little of the performance royalty is paid to the artists, and the return to them is pretty random.

This formula is also worked against the rounding effect of the sampling for determining royalty payments: either one "representative" hour a day, or one "representative" day a week is usually used, which of course means only the most popular artists have a chance of registering in a sample and getting paid. Since the most popular artists get played so much more (the same goddamn song, year after year, too), only the biggest artists get cut in. To make it even worse, the distribution of top artists in the "random" sample is used to divide the royalty collected from radio stations which pay a subscription fee as if they're playing every artist. So in effect those biggest artists are collecting the share of the littler artists who do get played, but who get rounded down. Those "rarities" and "from the vault's back wall" bands they're playing to keep you listening to the classic rock station so it sounds "fresh", with occasional "new" (30 year old) songs, all get lost in the rounding down of the sampling process. So their most valuable songs return the least share of the royalties to their artists.

And of course the BMI/ASCAP/etc collection agencies just underreport plays and percentages to the artists. I have friends in bands which registered half their artists with BMI, the other half with ASCAP, to see which paid better. For some bands BMI paid their half more, for other bands ASCAP paid their half more, sometimes 5-10x different, when they should all have paid the same. Then, since artists are flaky and move around & disappear on benders (or OD), the agencies often collect money they "don't know how to pay", so they just keep it. This also happens whenever there's the slightest possibility that a contract disagreement or unknown might allow different interpretations of how much should go in the check.

All of those scams are also fed back into the radio station's decicisions of how much to play (and promote) which songs. Since there's money attached, money gets spent on those deciders to influence which songs are played when. And to influence which "random" hour/day is picked to report who gets how much.

So now the RIAA wants to get in on the act. And of course they'll charge (mostly independent) streaming radio station even more than they charge (nearly all corporate) broadcast radio stations. Right when the Copyright Office has just rocketed already insane streaming royalties through the roof [savenetradio.org] , threatening the entire noncommercial and small webcaster industry segments.

Broadcast radio already sucks worse than ever. Streaming was the only hope for people to escape the corporate noose in realtime and archived media delivery. Right as streaming was starting to get a hold in video, presenting an on-demand P2P (or communities small to large) world of all media, both kinds of royalties got jacked up to destroy the free publishers. Right as cameraphones also have the bandwidth (and caches) to play streaming radio, and even upload "news from the street", the media mainstream corporate got yet another life extension from the government, killing the competition.

This is all political crap to promote corporate media cartels. If every song played to each listener charged only 1% of a penny, every video charged only 2% of a penny, instead of starting at 7% of a penny and rising fast, streaming would be cheap and manageable enough that the number of listens would explode hundreds of times to every terminal (desktop, home theater and mobile) around the world. Removing the worst offender, the $500:year minimum fee per publisher, would let people stream to a few friends each, and so on in a network that would grow like email. The entire recording industry would return many times the $10B (US, $20B global) to which it has shrunk being run by these corporate publishers - at least $100B, probably growing to $TRILLIONS a year in our lifetimes. But that would probably expose ASCAP and BMI (etc) to a lot of competition. And expose their accounting so they kept a small fraction, an actual administration fee only, reduced by the competition. And the masters who control what gets played and who gets paid would no longer have that ultimately political control.

If the streaming cat had gotten maybe another year or two out of the bag, we would have told each other this in amusing new video and audio content. But now hearing this news is up to the corporate masters who create it.

Indirect Payola (4, Insightful)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219729)

My guess would be that the RIAA is actually trying to *control* what radio stations play, since that annoying "law enforcement" stuff is getting in the way of payola.

  A major record label can create a list of songs they want played, and offer special royalty-free licenses to broadcast them as a promotion. Independent artists, bands that the RIAA's members just doesn't feel like promoting for whatever commercial reason, etc., won't have the beureucratic infrastructure to *offer* such an arrangement, even if they wished to do so.

  And, of course, if they don't like particular *stations*, for whatever reason, they can refuse to cut deals with them.

  It's the same story as with internet radio - it's all about control.

The key phrase here is 'mutually beneficial' (2, Interesting)

simong (32944) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219733)

which is a concept that the RIAA seems not to understand. Radio and TV airplay are what drives sales and in turn what attracts listeners to listen to the radio. If radio and TV thought for a while and bypassed the RIAA, music radio would probably survive, but for how long would the RIAA survive without this free promotion? Let them cut off their nose and see how many copies the new Madonna LP sells without the radio.

One less ivory backscratcher (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219745)

buhu! So they can afford one ivory backscratcher less. God forbid they should actually have to work for their money.
I want to be stinking rich and complaing about being ripped off too.

More independent/ local Artists on the Radio (2, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19219773)

If the excemption is passed, *all* radio stations will be more like college radio. The record companies will have to give the little know stuff away just to get air time. This could concievably level the playing field so that small bands could actually compete with "Madonna".

Radio Stations will adapt, and only play the expensive stuff during peak times when it will get them the most listens for their advertisers. During most of the day, and the evening hours they'll be able to play the free stuff from independent artists. It might even mean that stations will have to hire an actual program director to seek out local artists that appeal to locals.

Like any change, some stations won't be able to adapt and will wither and die, but there will be a bunch of kids with a vision to take their place. Imagine a station that only played music licensed by a creative commons license that allowed unlimited radio play.
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