on 6/21/07 6:35 PM, Bob Olhsson at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> I'm saying that choice should be up to the artist because it's their music
> and their livelihood. Webcasters always have the choice not to play artists
> they can't reach an agreement with.
> It's actually very debatable how much an artist actually benefits from
> airplay. The Digital Media Association couldn't demonstrate to a panel of
> judges that the benefit to the artist was comparable to the benefit of
> playing the artist's music was to the webcaster.
> And again this is a 6% increase in the cap on royalties an artist can charge
> and not a mandated royalty everybody has to pay.

I have not read any of the legislation being discussed in these threads, but
a number of questions come to mind:

A new royalty is going to increase the cost of business for broadcasters.
Where will this money come from? Most likely by raising advertising revenue
- higher rates or more minutes of advertising per hour, probably a
combination of both. Higher advertising rates will be passed onto the
consumer. MusicFIRST presents this as a win-win situation, musicians get
more money and radio listeners get to support them. But money is not
conjured from thin air (unless you're into sub-prime mortgages). Someone has
to pay.

Second, MusicFIRST refers to "corporate radio" conjuring an image of fat
cats living it up in mansions, but there is another kind of radio - public
radio, often the only local radio outside of major markets. Where does this
leave public radio? I do not believe that there is an exception for public
radio in the DPRA legislation, is there one in the MusicFirst legislation?
Public radio generally has very little advertising revenue so the only way
to increase revenue is to ask for more donations or more Federal funding,
once again the buck gets passed to the taxpayer/consumer. I fear that this
legislation would kill a lot of public radio stations, or force them to have
a higher percentage of talk.

I can't help but notice that MusicFIRST provides only a "corporate" sales
pitch on their website and don't include the text of their proposed
legislation (but they do provide a way for you to write your congressman.)
This is very disingenuous a makes me suspicious...

Konrad Strauss
Director of Recording Arts, Professor of Music
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music