From Inside Radio:
A setback in the royalty fight? Record industry says DOJ ruling boosts its case. RIAA chairman/CEO Mitch Bainwol says the ruling by Justice Department antitrust attorneys allowing a Sirius-XM merger is a “powerful validation” of the record industry’s contention that terrestrial radio should “play by the same set of rules” and pay a copyright royalty. The DOJ ruling says satellite radio competes with radio, iPods and all other forms of audio entertainment, all of which pay royalties to artists and labels — except for radio. Bainwol says “On the heels of this decision, the logic for a performance right for terrestrial radio has never been clearer.”
More nonsense from the morally, ethically, and – soon – financially bankrupt RIAA.
Forgive me for being blunt, but this is rank stupidity and logic so full of holes it might as well be wrapped in fishnet.
The judgment that “satellite radio competes with radio, iPods and all other forms of audio entertainment” is quite true. But because these other forms pay a different royalty to the labels than radio does shouldn’t imply anything about radio industry royalties. The two are separate issues.
Who your competitors are does not tell the whole story of your influence and leverage.
That’s because the fact of competition does not imply anything about the magnitude of influence a particular medium has over the fortunes of the music business. Nor does it imply that the competitors are in any way “equal.”
You tell me, how much music do you think the satellite radio business sells thanks to its 20 million subscribers, many of whom listen more for professional sports and Howard Stern than to hear the latest output of the music industry?
Compare that to the combined sway of thousands of terrestrial radio stations, many playing the kind of music that still sells, and all of them playing this music at no charge to the labels.
The labels should spend less time insulting our intelligence with these flimsy arguments and more time doing what they do best, desperately trying to resuscitate the careers of the Backstreet Boys and their like.
I, for one, heartily encourage radio stations across the country to play whatever the labels want you to play in measured doses and charge them for the privilege. I call it “legal payola,” and its one of the great opportunities for our industry.
Two can play at this game, Mr. Label Exec.