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Radio May Have To Pay To Play

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the he-said-she-said dept.

Music 407

devjj writes "Ars Technica reports that Congress is considering two bills that will remove the exemption terrestrial radio broadcasters currently enjoy that allows them to broadcast music without compensating the artists or labels for it. In the current dispensation only songwriters get paid. The National Association of Broadcasters is furious at the RIAA, which is pushing repeal of the exemptions, and has responded by agreeing that artists need better compensation — and is asking Congress to investigate modern recording contracts. "

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This is an old tune: (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764052)

It's my property and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if revenue deserted you

Nobody knows where my moolah has gone
But total control left the same time
Why were they streaming these songs
Pay us or pay a big fine

It's my property and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if revenue deserted you

Then all my records keep dancing all night
But leave me alone for a while
'Til money's dancing in my wallet
I've got no reason to smile

It's my property and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if revenue deserted you

NAB and the listener just walked thru the door
Like a queen with her king
Oh what a birthday surprise
NAB's wearing his MP3 thing

It's my property and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if revenue deserted you

Oh-oh-oh It's my property and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to.....

Re:This is an old tune: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764162)

Um, Congress is also considering a law for compensating the RIAA for writing the lyrics to the music too. Even as much as in parody. Buck up!

It's their Congress
They'll do what they want to
Do what they want to
But they'll never do it for you...

Re:This is an old tune: (3, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764796)

::knock knock:: :Hands smitty_one_each an envelope:
You now owe $3,750 to Mercury Records and 1/10 of a cent to the songwriter Lesley Gore.
You've been served.

Re:This is an old tune: (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764876)

Is it worth mentioning that Lesley Gore didn't write it, she just performed it? No, didn't think so.

Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance. (5, Insightful)

siyavash (677724) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764054)

This is good in my humble opinion, perhaps it is time for radio to stop playing RIAA's JUNK and start playing REAL music from REAL artists and compensate them directly without the MA****... er, I mean the record companies as middle hand..

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Interesting)

vortigern00 (443602) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764124)

And here is an example of what I always tell people about myself -- that my mind is open and I can change opinions the instant I see my old one is wrong.

When I first read this article my only thought was "goodbye college radio"... but your point is so very true. This will shoot the 'AAs squarely in the foot. Radio stations can't afford to pay for music. Even ClearChannel etc won't pony up for this. This may just clear the way to get the forest of unwanted garbage music out of our face so we can see the few trees of good music that are out there!

Sorry, I'll come up with a better metaphor after my coffee...

-Vort

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764298)

When I first read this article my only thought was "goodbye college radio"

well, we have college radio stations up in canada and up here broadcasters have to pay royalties to composers for play.

canada has an organization call 'socan [socan.ca] ' that collects royalties from radio stations (among other places) and distributes them to artists. from socan's web page:

"[we collect] licence fees, as set by the Copyright Board of Canada, from anyone playing or broadcasting live or recorded music."

how those royalties get disbursed is a bit trickier, but i do know folks in local bands who have gotten cheques (usually in the sub-ten-dollar range, but hey, they're pretty much unknown local acts).

and college radio [hhtp] does just fine up here.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (3, Informative)

idobi (820896) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764452)

You're confusing performance royalties with copyright royalties. All radio stations, Canadian and US, pay performance royalties - about 1.7% of revenue. College stations typically pay a flat fee of $450/year. RIAA wants stations to pay, in addition to performance royalties, copyright royalties of about 7.5% of revenue - with low income stations paying $5000/year.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Informative)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764814)

You've got it backwards. All stations - Terrestrial and over-the-air - pay royalties to the copyright holder of the song itself. These royalties are paid to organizations like ASCAP [ascap.com] and BMI [bmi.com] , who then distribute the money to the songwriter. The royalties this article discusses are collected by SoundExchange [soundexchange.com] on behalf of the copyright holder of the "performance" of the song (ie the recording the radio station plays). This copyright is generally held by the record company.

Terrestrial stations have so far been exempt from paying the performance royalties, but it looks like that may change.

Terrestrial and over-the-air? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764980)

Sorry. Meant to say Terrestrial and Internet-based. It's the latter who currently pay royalties to SoundExchange

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764578)

well, we have college radio stations up in canada and up here broadcasters have to pay royalties to composers for play.
In the US I think the college/non-profit stations also pay the ASCAP [ascap.com] or BMI [bmi.com] but at a lower rate than the commercial stations [wikipedia.org] .

I am assuming that SOCAN, ASCAP, and BMI don't have any connection with the RIAA. So now the RIAA wants a cut.

With personal mp3 players and streaming network does broadcast radio even have a future? At one time AM radio was _the_ method of listening to music. Today AM is mostly talk/news with FM being the music provider. I can see FM going to the talk/news format in the near future.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764334)

Good, now hopefully we can have more interesting TALK radio, everything from O&A to Rush. Should be plenty of room for all kinds of radio shows.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764622)

Well, that would be good because talk radio, as it exists right now, pretty much sucks.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (2, Funny)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764734)

Aww come on. Haven't you listened to Air America [airamerica.com]

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

GodsBlood (1143061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764478)

When I first read this article my only thought was "goodbye college radio"... but your point is so very true. This will shoot the 'AAs squarely in the foot. Radio stations can't afford to pay for music.
What makes you think radio stations or schools can not pay for music? My crappy little community college pays fees to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC (I think) just to play music in the gym and cafeteria. Those fees are actually paid by me and the other students in our tuition. I'm sure it wouldn't be THAT expensive considering college radio isn't exactly the hottest spot to find new/signed artists. And as far as regular terrestrial radio, good, they have enough advertisements they can stop lining their own pockets or fail miserably with the extra 40 minutes per hour of commercials. Satellite radio and internet already have to pay, terrestrial may as well join the club.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764212)

perhaps it is time for radio to stop playing RIAA's JUNK

Ya know, I hear this theme every single time there is a story related to the recording industry/file sharing/copyright/etc. RIAA music sucks! It's all pop crap! Listen to indie artists!

Not all RIAA music is Justin Timberlake-equese crap. I happen to mostly listen to modern/hard rock. Quite a few of the bands that I like (Nickelback) are signed to RIAA members. In fact I'm hard pressed to think of a genre of music that doesn't have at least one or two prominent bands/artists signed to RIAA members.

Point being that it's kind of stupid to say that all RIAA music sucks just because we find their business practices abhorrent and unethical. I do my best to avoid giving RIAA money (I never buy CDs or directly pay for music) but they doubtless still make some off me (Pandora pays them royalties). I hope that more artists follow a direct to the customer model (Radiohead is giving it a try) and I think that overtime the big labels will become less relevant. In the meantime though I'm not going to avoid music that I like.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764346)

"I'm hard pressed to think of a genre of music that doesn't have at least one or two prominent bands/artists signed to RIAA members."

I haven't run across a single group doing Celtic music that's signed to a major label...

Although my tastes even in this niche genre seem to be rather narrow, so who knows, maybe some of the more mainstream groups have XD

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

Evl (36661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764978)

I haven't run across a single group doing Celtic music that's signed to a major label...


The Chieftains are signed with Sony.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Insightful)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764366)

Sorry, but artists just like NICKLEBACK are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764500)

Sorry, but artists just like NICKLEBACK are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Well, you are assuming that any of the artists currently signed to a RIAA label have a choice in the matter. Aren't most of those contracts long term? I recall reading that Radiohead had wanted to try direct sales for awhile but had to wait until their recording deal expired.

And in any case I don't see how that disproves my statement that not all RIAA music sucks and that avoiding it entirely probably isn't an option for most music lovers.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764464)

I think you're right that RIAA endorsed labels do have many respectable bands signed, unfortunately. However - and I don't mean to insult your taste here - You should be aware that Nickelback is almost certainly the kind of [RIAA crap] band that the grandparent was talking about. Many people regard them as total sellouts and possessive to no actual talent or creativity, at least in the circles in which I run. There was the Digg story a while back that pointed to this interesting site: evidence of similarities between Nickelback songs [thewebshite.net] . Regardless of whether you like them or not, they are a hit generator, which is exactly the kind of thing that they play on pop/rock radio. Anyway keep up the good analysis; just use better examples like Radiohead (which you also used). They are distributing In Rainbows under a label associated with the RIAA according to RIAA Radar [riaaradar.com] .

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764502)

the bands that I like (Nickelback)

I hate you.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764520)

"Not all RIAA music is Justin Timberlake-equese crap...bands that I like (Nickelback)"

does not compute

Nickelback is the poster child for untalented RIAA crap!

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764540)

Your example of a band that doesn't suck is Nickelback? You, sir, must be the king of subtle sarcasm. I tip my hat to thee.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764562)

> Not all RIAA music is Justin Timberlake-equese crap.

Heresy.

All popular music is worthless. If anyone with a clean shirt and a decent haircut has heard of a band, then they're over-processed sellout pop shit for teenagers. It's a scientifically proven fact that the worth of a band is inversely proportional to the number of records they've sold. That's why The Beatles are the worst band in history and quality music peaked when G.G. Allin shoved a Sennheiser up his ass after a baked bean dinner.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764640)

People who like Nickelback are not qualified to talk about good music.
You are part of the problem. Good day.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764884)

Worst. Example. Ever.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764238)

We should compensate artists, but there is a problem with that: when the artist starts getting big, somebody has to step in and help, and they have to get paid. The existence of a record company is understandable; what is not understandable is a record company making more money than the artist they are publishing. Of course, that can all change with the existence of the Internet, CD burners, and digital music players, since distribution does not have to cost millions of dollars anymore. Unfortunately, as with so many cases, trying to sweep away a large, established industry that makes their money from out-of-date technology ("technology" in the economic sense), is almost impossible.

With all our modern technology, though, musicians could make money with only one or two guys helping them with distribution, even worldwide distribution, and take home a much larger percentage of the profit. As long as a quiet place to record the music can be located, even someone with almost no financial backing could potentially sell a lot of music. If only there weren't people fighting such ideas...

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (2, Interesting)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764448)

when the artist starts getting big, somebody has to step in and help, and they have to get paid.

How about when the artists start getting big, they have to pay somebody else. Then the money flows from the artist to the support (distribution, marketing, etc) and the artist gets paid if there is any left over from an employer's standpoint. This will actually help keep things much more honest, and force artists to use the system that works (for distribution) instead of the broken ones.

This arrangement would put the artists squarely in control. The only issue, is how many artists could manage doing this themselves. After all, the industry parasiting them is technical the distribution, marketing, etc portion hiring the artists. This ensure the artists are no more than store clerks in the chain.

InnerWeb

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (5, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764340)

Does it not seem like the RIAA is shooting themselves in the foot with this? I always thought one of the main points of playing tunes on the radio was advertising for the artists, enticing people to buy the whole album.

If people stop hearing new songs on the radio, then the RIAA will really see a dip in CD sales. This is just more proof that the RIAA is way out of touch with how the market works.

I had the same initial reaction, but then... (5, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764454)

...I read TFA. It says the payments are to be in the form of a flat fee, per station, per year. That means that if a radio station wants to be able to ever play any RIAA-artist music, even just once a year, they have to pay the same fee as a station that plays the stuff all the time. Given that circumstance, there's no special motivation to seek out non-RIAA artists.

Of course, the article is short. The actual text of the bill may include a pay-per-play option that would encourage stations to drop most RIAA-artist music while still retaining the ability to play a bit of it, on occasion. I don't know because I haven't read the bill so, as always, the devil's in the details.

Somehow, I doubt an RIAA-backed bill would include a sensible measure like this, though. Even they aren't stupid enough to shoot themselves in the foot like that. Are they?

Anybody got a link to the actual bill text?

Re:I had the same initial reaction, but then... (1)

Velcroman98 (542642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764672)

There's your smoking gun for RICO

Re:I had the same initial reaction, but then... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764756)

It's not about the RIAA. Another organisation would be set up(presumably bands would need to be registered), and while all RIAA labels would be a member of this, independent bands and labels would also be free to join with no commitment to anytone.

If they want to play one track a year, then they can simply pay a specific royalty to the copyright holder.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (2, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764518)

Yes, but not in the way you think.

They'll start charging more per-play for the top 40 stuff because they can.
That top 40 stuff will loose air time for the cheaper stuff
The cheaper stuff, with more air time, will become more popular, raising it's price to play...
rinse-repeat

Over all, I think this will ad variety to music played on the radio, as the companies are force, due to expenses, to play more obscure music.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764620)

The problem is that once your bands start getting played on the radio they'll suddenly be mainstream and you won't be allowed to like them anymore. It's tough being hip.

Re:Good, maybe REAL artists will now have a chance (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764704)

Oh good grief, are you joking or do you seriously think that musicians who aren't contracted with companies represented by the RIAA are actually better musicians who write better music? Because, well, that's rubbish. RIAA might be pretty freaking evil but don't confuse them with the songwriters and performers that the RIAA hounds people for listening to.

Even if there were a ton of indie bands as good as bands with labels represented by RIAA (Muse, U2, Def Leppard, etc.), which there aren't, what you said would be wholly unfair. Shit, even if Muse went batshit loco and started personally crusading against piracy and pushing for more RIAA lawsuits, it would make them total assholes but they'd still be fantastic musicians with great music.

This could actually help a little (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764058)

Finally, we have someone with a little actual power fighting the RIAA. Sadly, the RIAA will probably just back down in the end. But it would be nice if the broadcasters used this case to encourage Congress to take a good hard look at the heavy-handed tactics used by the RIAA in general in recent years.

Sadly, this is a no-win case in Congress either way. With Republicans in the hands of big business and Democrats in the hands of Hollywood, the possibility of anyone looking out for the consumer is pretty much nil. Calls for reform usually only end up with even more onerous legislation [news.com] .

Re:This could actually help a little (1)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764476)

No one has to be looking out for the consumer, any benefit to the consumer in any business situation is entirely incidental. In their desperate fight against their own dying business model they're trying to gouge everyone they can. Suing file-shares doesn't seem to have generated any real revenue, the internet radio heist hasn't panned out (at least yet) now they're targeting broadcast radio. As they grow more hungry they're willing to hunt more dangerous prey. Hopefully they'll get eaten instead and we won't have to wait for them to starve to death.

Re:This could actually help a little (1)

Marillion (33728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764588)

Agreed. Nothing like having Clear Channel and Newscorp on you side of an issue.

Re:This could actually help a little (1)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764670)

Calls for reform usually only end up with even more onerous legislation.

Calls for reform usually take the form of:
  1. I should be allowed to abuse and take adavantage of others.
  2. Others should not be allowed to abuse or take advantage of me.
The only thing that changes is who "I" and "me" refer to. Of course, that can change the type of reform quite a bit. Ultimately, the one with the money gets their reform. If we get rid of money as a factor, then the "new currency" would be something else I don't have. It's never going to be something that I already easily have and the agressive businesses don't.

A good Idea (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764064)

if they let us download the music for free, and take their income from somewhere else.

Paying others to advertise for them? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764066)

The RIAA is again shooting itself in the foot. Why should radio stations pay for the right to advertise music which essentially is what radio stations do, provide free advertising for artists.

Re:Paying others to advertise for them? (0)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764242)

Why should I pay for a concert? It's free advertisement. CDs? Free advertisement, so it's best for them to give them away for nothing. Merchandising? Free advertisement. Guess what? Everything is free advertisement. But that doesn't mean it should be free.

Re:Paying others to advertise for them? (5, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764488)

Radio is a bit different, however. With all of the other forms of advertising you mentioned, the consumer is making a deliberate choice to attend a specific concert or buy a specific CD. The consumer already has an idea of the music he or she wishes to buy. With radio, this is not necessarily the case - radio is nonspecific, and therefore is likely the medium in which the first exposure to new music will occur.

Now, different arguments can be made as to what a consumer buys when he purchases a CD. The music itself, certainly - but he can already listen to that for free by waiting for it to appear on the radio. In my opinion, what the consumer buys when he buys a CD is choice - the choice to listen to a particular song whenever he wishes rather than waiting for it to appear whenever a radio station plays it. The radio then becomes the advertisement for this purchase.

Re:Paying others to advertise for them? (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764660)

Concerts are the product most bands want you to buy, not advertising.
CDs are the product the bands' labels want you to buy and not that cheap to produce.
Merchandising is relatively pricy to produce and tends not to work as an advertisement (tour dates are in the past; you don't hear what the band sounds like).

Playing single songs on the radio, however, is an extremely cheap way to advertise. Listeners get to hear what one song of the respective band sounds like but the listening stays more or less limited to a one-time experience. Forgetting about everything after right before the tape recorder, listening to the song that just played on the radio does require you to buy the record (or, of course, download the mp3). Distribution costs on the artist's side are ridiculously small - postage for and a cd should, given either good quality or mainstream appeal, cover it.

Re:Paying others to advertise for them? (4, Informative)

zentinal (602572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764952)

Sorry, but you're displaying a fundamental lack of understanding about how radio works (from a financial point of view), along with a lack of knowledge of radio history. Understandable, because no one knows this stuff anymore except for telecom geeks.

Playing music over the radio has, since it's inception, been about advertising to promote sales of music (records, sheet music), advertising to promote attendance at live events, and to provide programming to attract listeners for, of course, advertising other goods and services. In the last case, think of how flowers use nectar to attract bees. Giving away nectar is just a cost of doing business if you want to be polinated.

Of course, it isn't a perfect analogy, because unlike flowers, radio stations aren't producing what they're giving away.

What radio explicitely hasn't been is a revenue source for song performers. Song writers, absolutely. I'll leave it up to you to look up the ASCAP / BMI controversy of 1939/1940.

In fact, what is amazing about this is that, were the RIAA's proposal to be adopted, it would end up setting up a system exactly the opposite of the Payola scandal, where record producers paid / bribed radio station employees and execs to play records [history-of-rock.com] .

I also have to wondeder what ASCAP and BMI will think of this. If this proposal results in a drop in radio play, then payments to songwriters (as opposed to song performers) will fall.

Oh, and this could definitely blow up in the RIAA's face. Clear Channel, Infinity and the like are notorious for being very, very tough business people. If this proposal goes through, and if they aren't able to negotiate a miniscule enough rate per play, I wouldn't put it past them to start buying up the larger RIAA members, just to get their music catalogs. Would there be anti-trust implications? Sure. Would it be worth a few tens of millions here or there to try. Absolutely.

Re:Paying others to advertise for them? (3, Interesting)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764352)

It kind of looks like junior took over the "family business" and never really learned the ropes. He doesn't understand why the old man did the things the old ways, so figures now that he's in charge he doesn't have to play by those rules. Probably thinks it's brilliant business. But of course, as he makes a string of bad decisions and revenues drop, he has to find someone to blame. Couldn't be his own fault...

Ok, seriously... the radio exemption is sound marketing and worked as such for years. (Hint -- it isn't the raw quality of the music that makes Top 40 into Top 40.) Of course, I tend toward a free market view -- so if the labels don't want free advertising, maybe they shouldn't be forced to take it. Treating your advertising medium like a consumer doesn't make a lot of sense, but barring a shareholder lawsuit they shouldn't be compelled to make good business decisions.

Of course, there is an argument about equitable treatment. For decades the radio stations have built their own businesses around being the free advertiser of mainstream music. What exactly is the radio station to do if not play music to promote it? Not the labels' problem? Well, maybe, but then the labels did benefit from the radio stations' putting themselves in this position.

The bottom line is, radio play doesn't compete with a CD purchase or a download. As a consumer, I don't have control over the next song on the radio. I don't have control over when the radio plays music at all, vs. when they play other advertisements, news, other random talk, etc. That's what you get when you buy music -- the right to hear what you want when you want (current overzealous copyright interpretations notwtihstanding).

Same holds for satelite radio, and by all rights the exemption should've been extended to them. With internet radio, you could stray into a gray area, but as long as they're centrally controlled and stream their content, they should be in the same boat. The underlying technology behind the broadcast is irrelevant.

Big Labels committing suicide? (3, Insightful)

SengirV (203400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764082)

I thought I've seen it by now with the music industry. I realize I am not the target audience for them anymore because I'm an old fart, but I can't imagine where potential buyers are going to hear music they want to buy. MTV doesn't play videos, they'll come after you if you have the music on Myspace, etc... This is turning into pure comedy gold. Glad I have my set list of music I'm working at filling out, because I have no idea where I'd even begin to look to listen to anything new if this goes through.

Re:Big Labels committing suicide? (1)

DaveJ2001 (559498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764362)

I haven't listened to the radio in years. Virtually 100% of the new music I find I get through word of mouth (usually a thread on a forum) or from sites like Allmusic [allmusic.com] or Pandora [pandora.com] . Both are awesome, and free.

Re:Big Labels committing suicide? (1)

elliotm00 (1204958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764924)

Except that Pandora is in danger of going away [kurthanson.com] for the same reason.

Re:Big Labels committing suicide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764566)

Check out Pandora- online streaming based on the music genome project. Allows you to enter songs, albums, or artists and allows you to fine tune 'musical styles'. Works pretty well for finding new music, and their selection is really quite amazing.

Not seeing the forest for the trees... (5, Insightful)

Nigel_Powers (880000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764090)

Has the entire industry gone insane? Maybe it's a generational thing, but with today's one-hit wonders, there's very little in the current marketplace that I'm interested in buying. The ONLY advertisement the industry can count on is radio air-play. If broadcasters are charged, then we'll be forced to listen to more adverts, which in turn will prompt me to discontinue radio as an entertainment medium.

Re:Not seeing the forest for the trees... (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764596)

Fully agreed. The advertising to music ratio is already horrible in most Canadian cities, you'd be lucky to hear more than two songs before they dive into another 5-10 minute advertising binge. And those 2 songs are almost always crap anyway. I've already stopped listening altogether, with the exception of the local non-profit college radio station that plays music outside the mainstream with pretty much zero advertising in between. Once a year they hold a big fundraising drive that barely gets them through another year, but the music they play is leaps and bounds better than the garbage on the other "Rick Dees Weekly Top 40" stations. And most of the smaller bands featured love the free exposure, which is how radio should be.

Re:Not seeing the forest for the trees... (1)

curmudgeous (710771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764790)

...will prompt me to discontinue radio as an entertainment medium.

I gave up on radio when Clear Channel took over my local airwaves.

sigh :( (1)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764114)

they [riaa.com] will never "get it", will they?

Poetic justice, Ouruboros-style (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764120)

You knew eventually these bastards would get so greedy that they'd start devouring their own tail.

Sad that we couldn't have had clear-thinking political leadership that weren't whores to special interests, to kill it as it should have been killed.

But as long as they end up attacking themselves out of existence, I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

To Quote (1)

tokki (604363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764122)

One of the most important pieces of cinematic work in the past 100 years: "We [the record labels] have to do something to protect our phoney balogne jobs!"

Silver lining? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764146)

OK now I feel guilty railing against the RIAA's war against internet radio and P2P, always pointing out that they're like radio only the RIAA can't control them, and that all you have to do to get all the free top 40 MP3s you want is plug your headphone jack into the radio and sample.

But then again perhaps this will herald the advent of "indie music" (i.e., anything not produced by an RIAA label) on the radio.

Record labels or Clear Channel and their ilk, who to root against? A pox on both their houses.

-mcgrew

Re:Silver lining? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764288)

That is exactly what I was thinking, that this will actually open up radio to a broader number of musicians. Not every musician 'plays the game' and while the indie choices are certainly a mixed bag, that is the job of radio: to seperate the wheat from the chaf and play what is the best (via the opinions of their listeners).

Go head and tax the crap out of radio. The music industry is falling apart fast, and anything that hastens the fall is a good thing.

If only (4, Insightful)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764160)

A small part of me wants RIAA to succeed in this - heresy I know. The notion is that if they win, terrestrial radio broadcasters will all but stop putting the mainstream music on the air and cater more towards local or indie artists, since they would be most likely to trade profit for exposure. Not only would this give those artists the chance they could desperately be wanting, but in a perfect world, would force the studios and labels to see 'the error of their ways'. It's a pipedream, but as most dreams are, it's a happy one.

Re:If only (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764246)

Interesting idea, but I expect clear channel would probably just shift most or all of their radio stations to syndicated talk radio. Because you and I should both know that the RIAA will sue any station that plays any kind of contemporary music and doesn't pay them, on the basis that it's their duty to ensure that all artists get paid for their music, even the ones who haven't signed with them.

I think they think this is cunning, they see declining CD sales, and think they can squeeze radio stations to make up that extra revenue. If fewer songs are played, they don't care, CD sales are already declining, what's to lose? Of course, if they won and radios stations were forced to pay for play, they'd just end up crying again over how much more CD sales have gone down and blaming "teh internets" for the sales declines.

Re:If only (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764278)

No. They wouldn't. This would be a HORRIBLE thing for indie and local acts. If radio stations are required to pay a flat fee to SoundExchange (*), then they will make certain that all music airtime is from artists covered by their payment. Signed to an indie label? Unsigned local act? Sorry - you're not worth the airtime that we're required to pay for. This would be outrageously BAD for independent and local acts, imho.

* "The current draft sets up a scheme where commercial broadcasters pay a flat yearly fee (set by the government) to a group like SoundExchange, which would distribute the money to artists and labels. Small commercial stations would only pay $5,000 a year, and nonprofit stations like NPR would pay only $1,000 a year."

All radio should pay the same amount (1)

BZWingZero (1119881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764166)

All radio broadcasts should pay the same amount in royalties to the artists (and if necessary, the RIAA). All radio broadcasts includes: terrestrial AND internet. A radio broadcast is a radio broadcast, no matter the medium. /Logic, its cool.

What happened to the good old days of payola... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764170)

when the record labels paid the radio stations to play their stuff?

Re:What happened to the good old days of payola... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764230)

when the record labels paid the radio stations to play their stuff?

They want a refund.

Re:What happened to the good old days of payola... (2, Interesting)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764252)

No kidding. How the scales have shifted. My favorite quotes (paraphrasing from memory):

Harry Shearer eulogizing on the "genius" of the departed Sonny Bono (a promoter as well as a performer) after his skiing into a tree: "How much 'genius' does it take to meet on Monday morning to decide how to spread the payola around?"

Randi Rhodes: "Being a disk jockey, you know the _really_ cool promos -- one ones that came with the little packet of cocaine."

Re:What happened to the good old days of payola... (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764530)

They are alive and well, they're just not paying in straight cash any more. The only reason for this is to keep people like us from saying "you can't charge internet radio because you don't charge terrestrial radio stations". This is actually very good for us in the long run, because for once the consumer will actually win because radio stations will change their format and start playing local artists again. It will be like having 20 college radio stations in every town. I can't think of a better way to kill the record labels (as they are today) than by passing this kind of legislation.

I thank you fo6r your time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764206)

halt. Even Emacs an arduous from now on or thath the proj3ct prospects are very

All seems reasonable (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764210)

Well, most of it. Fairly neutral about whether the labels get a royalty from airplay but the performers certainly should.

Re:All seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764442)

Who gets the money? The artist/band attributed, the artist that performed the sample the song is based around, the session musicians that actually play the instruments, or the guy that wrote the program that cleans up the vocals? It's a mess.

A little Creedence comes to mind. (1)

DJ Katty (1195877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764256)

o/~ Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give?
Ooh, they only answer more! more! more! yoh, o/~

And by net standards, the o/~ means that I have sung those lyrics. OH SHI-

*waves hello to the overbearing, everso-*snirk*-vigilant RIAA overlords monitoring every insubstantial thing*

bring it on (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764304)

we need more pirate radio not controlled by corporate media anyway, for everything from news and information to music too...

It doesn't matter at all (4, Informative)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764322)

Payola still exists today; it is the practice of recording companies paying radio stations under the table to play their music. Rather than paying radio stations directly, they just funnel it through advisory companies. Ever wonder why Ashlee Simpson's music didn't disappear from the radio after her SNL lip-synching exposure? The RIAA invested enough in her that they needed to reinforce her career with payola. Otherwise, she would have fallen off the radio like Milli Vanilli.

See The New Yorker [newyorker.com] for more information.

All the RIAA is going to do is find a way to pay the radio stations what they pay in royalties, and then charge that cost back to the artists via some "promotional fee" or other such garbage.

The only solution to getting artists paid is the death of the RIAA and its component companies.

Good. (1)

alphasubzero949 (945598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764324)

If it means not having the same crap on rotation foisted into my ears at least 10 times a day, I'm all for it.

IMO listenning to music is overrated anyway (1, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764328)

From my point of view listening to music is way overrated. Everyone is supposedly listening to tons of music all the time and from my POV the music became some sort of a drug, just another escape from reality. You've got your music on your MP3 players, your radio, TV, CDs, DVDs, Vinyls, tapes and 8tracks ;] Are you all constantly listening to it for real? I prefer talk show radio, where I am (Toronto) the talk shows are really good, talking about local and global stuff, allowing the listeners to call in and express an opinion. To me this is way more entertaining than constantly repeating noise pollution that passes for music. Even if the music is good, there is no reason to be obsessed about it.

I wish there was more talk shows and various educational stuff on the radio instead.

Re:IMO listenning to music is overrated anyway (2, Insightful)

JasonWM (991689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764484)

For many of us, collecting and listening to music is a hobby. My wife and I very rarely watch television, and have no interest in what the opinions of talk radio people. We have music playing at our desks at work and in our house for about 18 hours a day. It is our preferred form of entertainment. So it's not "over rated" it's a lifestyle choice.

Re:IMO listenning to music is overrated anyway (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764968)

We have music playing at our desks at work and in our house for about 18 hours a day. - my point exactly.

Re:IMO listenning to music is overrated anyway (1)

vell0cet (1055494) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764752)

Especially during the holidays when all they play is crappy crappy christmas music we've been hearing for GENERATIONS.

Welcome to the end of modern radio! (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764338)

If this passes, we're going to get a LOT more crappy talk-radio.

Good (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764394)

As others have said this is the RIAA killing itself in a mad dash to grab money. It's like Congress raising taxes during a recession. You suffer, not us. If this passes (and I doubt it will) every music station should have a day of reckoning. A day of no music and nothing but call=ins to discuss this with their listeners. We're simply not going to pay this and not going to placate an industry we helped create. The RIAA will lose even more money and continue to blame piracy.

Finally... (4, Interesting)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764404)

Honestly, I hope this passes. If it does, it will be the end of music radio as we know it and finally the record companies will understand they've slit their own throats. Clear Channel and the like won't like the music industry cutting so heavily into their profits and they'll do whatever they can to defeat this. Two heads of the same monster fighting can't be that bad, right?

Comercial Radio (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764428)

So, I guess now most slogans will be "30 minutes of solid comercials". Or all stations will become talk / news.

I can hear the new song coming... (4, Funny)

garylian (870843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764434)

"RIAA killed the radio star..."

Coming soon to a radio station near you! Oh, wait...

Business as usual (2, Insightful)

Garrick68 (1165999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764462)

I've read a few comments here stating if this comes to pass how radio stations will start playing indie content. I don't think that will happen. Radio will continue as it was the only difference being the cost of doing business will have gone up. The price of advertising on radio will go up and in some small way that cost will trickle down to the average consumer.

Didn't the Onion... (1)

TwoQuestions (1111637) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764470)

have an article [theonion.com] about this?

RIAA asks congress to shoot it in the foot. (1)

Egdiroh (1086111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764494)

So the RIAA wants to charge radio stations to advertise their product for them.

This is so dumb because not only is this the labels making them selves less useful to their clients. The Labels do 3 things for an artist, they promote them, they loan them money to cover recording costs, and they control access to other artists and producers an artist might want to collaborate with, and of those one of the most important these days is the promotion. But now the labels are looking to sour their vice like grip on radio, which is going to hurt their ability to promote, and is going to provide an opening for their competitors.

The only bad part about this is that, when this dumb move hurts they they are just going to get more irrational.

Does anyone still listen? (2, Informative)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764514)

Once you get satellite radio, you never go back.

I think the bigger story here is how terrestrial radio broadcasters utterly squandered a franchise.

Ads (1)

david fab (1205876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764544)

Yes! Finally we'll get more commercials and less music! Score!!!

More commercials = lame (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764560)

Great. So now instead of 25 minutes of commercials every hour, we'll get 45 minutes of commercials every hour. And all radio stations will switch to Pop/Country format, because those are the only profitable segments to advertise in. Stupid artists complaining about not being rich enough... If these idiots couldn't figure out how to live the rest of their lives in relative comfort after ONE radio hit, then they really don't deserve any more money. I know the guys in a band that had ONE hit, and all three of them can live in BIG houses with NICE cars and stuff for the rest of their lives. They don't care to be compensated 20 years from now if somebody plays their song on an "oldies" station, because they aren't greedy SOB's like most of the industry.

I guess I am ahead of the curve... (2)

TheeBlueRoom (809813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764582)

I gave up listening to music terrestrial radio a while ago, the white knuckle payola rotation of pop-tart based music sicken me... Have iPod, will travel...

The road to extermination (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21764598)

First they went after Napster
But I did not care, as I never liked Napster

Then they went after Kaazaa
But I did not care, as I did not like Kaazaa either

Then they went after the torrents
But I did not care, as I only use torrents for free software

Then they went after radio
But I did not care, as I never listen to radio anyway

Then they came after me for singing while in the shower
And there was nobody else to care, as music had been exterminated from Earth

I thought the purpose of (music) radio (2, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764694)

was to advertise musicians songs so they would sell albums...

RIAA is very shrewd. (3, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764730)

This proposal does many things which are good for them

* It's a strike against attempts to relieve webcasters of RIAA payment.
* If it is enacted, the RIAA (SoundSource) ends up collecting all the royalties
* Which means they can screw non-members out, furthering their stranglehold.
* They'll still pay for radio pay, it's just that part of the payment will be an exemption
    from royalties, reducing their direct costs.
* Which will further increase the cost of non-RIAA music compared to RIAA music
* Particularly since the exempt music will still be counted in whatever formula they use to
    distribute collected royalties, thus screwing non-RIAA artists more.

Are they scared? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764764)

Boy...if P2P users weren't enough, those pesky radio broadcasters are letting people listen to music for free!

I was willing to give the RIAA the benefit of the doubt about the copyright lawsuits, but to me this situation lends itself to an industry that is scared stupid about its future. What I don't think they understand is that radio is a semi-safe way to get people exposed to music. If they charge radio stations to play, that means radio stations either dry up or have to get more ad revenue to pay for those songs. This translates into longer commercial time, which in turn translates into lower listening rate. This then snowballs into people getting their music fix elsewhere. Like P2P. It's like they're sabotaging their own industry.

And I don't understand why they're doing that...

Fuck the RIAA. (1)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764824)

Fuck 'em right in the ass. With a red-hot poker. With spikes.

Their business model is obsolete and falling apart, so now they're trying to sleaze their way into more revenue any way they can. Last week they decided that, legal precedent and their own claims notwithstanding, that people don't have the right to backup their CDs after all [slashdot.org] . Now they're trying to shake down radio stations that have been bringing them a constant flow of revenue for decades.

Screw these bastards. We--meaning musicians, music listeners, and the world in general--don't need 'em. Let's get rid of the recording cartel. In my opinion, we need to have a serious effort at a complete boycott of the RIAA.

This is a good idea (0, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764846)

Other than those commie hippie homo terrorists on public radio and college stations, radio doesn't broadcast music. It's just right wing asshole redneck shithead talk radio now.

I stopped paying for music years ago now I have no excuse to listen to the radio or theor advertisers either.

Look on the bright side (1)

Potatomasher (798018) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764880)

On the bright side of things, maybe if the radio stations have to pay to play music, maybe they`ll start playing higher quality content (aka. real music), instead of regurgitating top-20 garbage and promoting the recording industry`s agenda.

this is wonderful (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764940)

it shows the extent that the old power structure is eroding under the stress of the influence of the web on music

the eventual nirvana, of course, is completely free digital music

artists get paid for concerts, and advertising deals, no more. and this represents no decrease in filthy lucre for the artists, since in today's paradigm they don't get that much for recordings anyway: the music cartels screw them for pennies

the internet simply represents where people find new bands (rather than the radio, which is controlled, the internet is free), and also represents where they will get their free recordings, which artists will distribute themselves

the music companies?

sorry, no room for them in such a world

as if this were somehow a bad thing, in any way

you do not cry for the jobs of chimney sweeps, horseshoe blacksmiths, and cabin boys that progress has rendered obsolete

you certainly don't have to cry for the historical ireelevancy and extinction of music conglomerates

like any dying dinosaur, they flail about like a great horrible wounded beast, lashing out at everyone and everything they can

lay low, wait, and in due time their coffers will be dry, and they will dead, and not threaten our culture any more with their insane need to preserve a defunct business model based on distributing CDs and tapes, in a world of tcp/ip

Sure, lets legislate the fall of indy radio (2, Interesting)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21764984)

None of this smells right. Initially I thought, "Awesome, this will finally get the cartel chains off of radio". After sitting on it for a while I realized that this can only lead to one outcome, the (ultimate) death of independent radio.

We automatically assume that Clear Channel will fight this to the ground and it goes without saying that they certainly won't have any positive PR on it and the only thing we will hear are grumbles about Big Government.

Instead Clear Channel will go into a licensing agreement with the RIAA because both parties will make concessions for each other. Either fines will more or less be canceled out or the RIAA will set it at an very low rate. Both parties have too much to loose if Clear Channel gets hit hard as they are a source of guaranteed advertising. Instead the only ones who end up paying will be the independent mom and pop radio stations (all 8 of them). They will (obviously) go into bankruptcy and CC will quickly sweep in to buy them at a discount.

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