Friday, June 12, 2009

A Rational Take On The Performance Tax Battle

Jesse Walker writes:
"For decades, record companies have been begging radio stations to play their music. Sometimes they do more than beg: Few sorts of scandal reappear as reliably in the music business as a payola scandal, in which agents of the labels are caught bribing broadcasters to air their wares. In the Internet age, the AM and FM dials aren't as important to promoting music as they used to be, but they continue to play the preeminent role in the process. As Clive Davis, a dominant figure in the record industry since the '60s, told USA Today just this month, "Radio is still the leading force of determining what songs and artists break through." Now the Recording Industry Association of America and a coalition of other industry groups are backing a bill, the Performance Rights Act, that would require those same stations to pay a new fee for the right to air those records. An industry that is infamously willing to pay for airplay apparently wants to charge for airplay too."

Leave it to the libertarian publication (click to read the entire article) to place radio and the music business's Congressional battles in a very well-reasoned context.

1 comment:

Seattle PI via Associated Press said...

The Minnesota woman who became the nation's only music file-sharing defendant so far to go to trial is getting a replay two years after losing the case.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a 32-year-old mother of four and self-described "huge music fan," will be armed with aggressive new lawyers when her retrial begins in federal court here Monday.

The lawsuit is among the last vestiges of an anti-piracy campaign that the recording industry ultimately dropped amid widespread criticism.

In 2006, for example, the industry dropped a lawsuit against Tanya Andersen, a disabled single mother in Oregon. Andersen said she had been misidentified and never downloaded the music she was accused of stealing. Industry representatives allegedly threatened to question her 10-year-old daughter if she didn't pay up.