Performance Fee Fight Comes To Motown
June 3, 2009 at 5:17 AM (PT)
Performers such as DIONNE WARWICK, DUKE FAKIR, SAM MOORE and MARTHA REEVES attended a town hall meeting in DETROIT TUESDAY over whether singers should get royalties when their songs are played on the radio.
"This is basically allowing those dollars -- that are rightfully ours -- to be paid to us ... I will not allow them to take advantage of me," said WARWICK.
Rep. JOHN CONYERS JR. (D-DETROIT) is the point person pushing a bill through that would have radio stations to pay royalties to artists when their music is played over AM and FM radio. CONYERS, told SUSAN WHITALL of THE DETROIT NEWS, "Music and culture is the other part of what makes you a human being. I never met anyone who didn't believe that artists and performers shouldn't be compensated. Have you? This is what we're struggling with. We're here to determine how we move past this."
I'd first talk about how we repair the damage done to artists. And I would not repair the damage by giving the money that they were robbed to the thief that robbed them.
The bill was passed through CONYERS' House Judiciary Committee in mid-MAY, but supporters argue that it's not on the fast track to a vote, and there is still time for discussion and negotiation.
The Rev. AL SHARPTON was the lone radio voice on the panel, and told THE DETROIT NEWS. "I don't know anyone who is opposed to the compensation that has been due artists historically," SHARPTON said. "I'd first talk about how we repair the damage done to artists. And I would not repair the damage by giving the money that they were robbed to the thief that robbed them."
The public forum, "Awareness for Fairness" was held at WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY.
Greater Media/Detroit Stations Voice Their Opposition
"The effects of a performance tax would be catastrophic, potentially forcing stations out of business, causing additional job cuts in the radio industry, stifling airplay for new artists, harming community organizations that need radio for support, and harming the listening public who depend on local radio like 101 WRIF, 94.7 WCSX and Magic 105.1," said GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT Market Manager JOHN GALLAGHER.
GREATER MEDIA/DETROIT is urging voters to learn more about how, in the midst of these hard economic times, why the performance fee would hurt radio stations that play music. They've posted a video on YOUTUBE that you can view here.