Royalty Debate Gets Fishy
June 23, 2008 at 1:46 PM (PT)
In a stunt that pales in comparison to its use in "THE GODFATHER," the MUSICFIRST COALITION -- an artist/label lobby pushing for performance royalties on terrestrial radio -- sent NAB Pres. DAVID REHR a can of herring, reports BETA NEWS. Instead of meaning that the proposed legislation "sleeps with the fishes," the gift symbolizes the NAB's counter-argument against the royalties as a "red herring."
The NAB has often argued that the issue isn't royalties, but the labels' historic corruption that has grossly underpaid artists. Just last week, for instance, the NAB felt compelled to comment on POISON's lawsuit against EMI/CAPITOL for underpayment of royalties.
Not the point, MUSICFIRST contends. "Every other platform that claims to promote music sales pays a performance royalty," MUSICFIRST Exec. Dir. DOYLE BARTLETT's wrote REHR in a letter that accompanied the can of fish. "Every other platform that claims to promote music sales pays a performance royalty. The real issue is that corporate radio earns $16 billion a year playing music without compensating the artists and musicians who bring music to life and listeners' ears to the radio dial...[Terrestrial] radio is different because of a loophole under copyright law, not because of promotion."
Not surprising, the NAB was unimpressed and continued with its mode of counter-attack."This is so lame that it barely warrants a response," NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON stated. "Instead of sending fish to radio stations that advanced the careers of artists, RIAA should send food to the entertainers that foreign record labels have abused for decades."