Music Industry Wants to Cut Artist Royalties
UPDATED: See below.
So, let's get this straight: My buddy Brooks Boliek at the Hollywood Reporter writes that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) -- the music industry's lobby and cop, responsible for suing music pirates, including the occasional 12-year-old -- now wants the federal government to slash how much money musicians get when their songs are played.
The RIAA has asked the fedgov's Copyright Royalty Judges to lower the rate, which hasn't been changed since 1981.
I'm not quite sure I understand the RIAA's argument, which seems to have something to do with selling ringtones, but I do know that, from a public-relations standpoint, the request to lower songwriters' royalties is tone deaf.
Over the past several years, the RIAA has preached that music pirates don't hurt the big, bad music labels, they actually hurt the musician whose music is being stolen. If the music is stolen instead of purchased, the musicians and songwriters don't get paid.
Now, the RIAA want to take money out of the pockets of musicians and songwriters?
UPDATE: So, helpful p.r. guy Jonathan Lamy at the RIAA, I am happy to find out, is a reader of this blog.
He, however, was unhappy to read this posting and said I hadn't represented the RIAA's side. So he sent along a release explaining the RIAA's argument on wanting to cut royalties to songwriters.
It goes like this: The RIAA's clients -- the big music labels -- have been seriously hurt by piracy over the past few years. Because the record labels spend a great deal of money on artist recruitment and development, declining music sales have hurt their ability to do so.
However, music publishers make no such expenditures for artist development and marketing. Consequently, publishers have watched their royalty revenue go up 54 percent as labels have watched theirs go down 13 percent from 1998 to through last year.
The RIAA's proposal to reduce royalties seeks to correct this imbalance, the RIAA says.
Post I.T. : Fair and balanced. Eventually.
Today In The Post:
* Mike Musgrove and a bud test-drive Gears of War, the latest action game from Microsoft's XBox 360.
* More wormy dangers on the Internet: A QuickTime movie making the rounds last week on MySpace embeds itself on the user's MySpace page when played and redirects traffic to phishing sites, that attempt to steal personal information.
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