musicFIRST Cracks Back At NAB
February 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM (PT)
The shouting match between the RIAA and the NAB over radio peformance royaties just got louder. The musicFIRST (FAIRNESS IN RADIO STARTING TODAY) COALITION popped for an ad in ROLL CALL, a Congressional-geared publication, that took radio to task. In an open letter, MFC Exec. Dir. DOYLE BARTLETT wrote the following:
"It’s time for the NAB and corporate radio to answer the tough questions about their refusal to pay artists and musicians," wrote MFC Exec. Dir. DOYLE BARTLETT. "AM and FM music radio stations earn $16 billion each year in advertising revenue. But not a single penny goes to the artists and musicians whose creativity, whose heart, whose soul and whose passion brings to life the music that listeners tune in to hear."
What is wrong with a paying a fee for product that makes you money?
The questions that musicFIRST wants answered are:
1. How can you justify taking someone’s intellectual property and making $16 billion in annual advertising revenue off that property without compensating the creators and owners of the property?
2. Why do you deserve a competitive advantage in the music marketplace? Artists and musicians are paid when their music is broadcast on satellite radio, Internet radio and digital music services delivered through satellite and cable television. You pay them when you stream your broadcast signal online, or in the future, through Internet streaming on mobile phones. And artists and musicians are compensated in every other country that is a member of the Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) – countries like the UNITED KINGDOM, CANADA, JAPAN, FRANCE, SPAIN, BELGIUM, AUSTRIA, GERMANY and GREECE.
3. Which of your leaders is right: DAVID REHR, president of NAB, or W. RUSSELL WITHERS, head of the WITHERS BROADCASTING GROUP and chairman of the NAB Radio Board? Mr. REHR calls paying artists for their work product a 'performance tax.' Really, the loophole in copyright law he is trying to salvage is merely an elaborate payment avoidance scheme. On the other hand, when Mr. WITHERS was questioned before the SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE during a hearing last year, he said, 'I disagree with ‘performance tax.’ It’s a performance fee.' What is wrong with a paying a fee for product that makes you money?"