Recently the RIAA has been pushing for a performance tax on radio stations. This means that any station that plays music must open their pocketbooks and line the pockets of this organization and the record labels they sponsor. What I have gathered is that the majority of this income would end up there and not with the artist that they supposedly are trying so hard to protect.
Not only on this front but almost every avenue that is open to the music listener is being targeted by this strong arm organization and for whom do they work so diligently to secure this revenue? Out of all the lawsuits that they have brought forth, I have yet to hear of an artist collecting from one of them. Sure most of these have been against peer-to-peer file sharers but still, has there been any benefit to the artist?
I guess you could say that they have forced the people to go out and buy a cd or download as apposed to stealing it. This is legit and I hope that the profit gained is distributed to the artist in accordance with how they would have been paid if the product was obtained legally. Is the RIAA doing that?
I can handle their attempt to stop illegal downloading. This is fine and dandy but now they want radio to pay them to play music? Not to mention the bar owner who has a juke box or a cover band playing live. Yes, the RIAA says if there is a band playing one of their protected songs then the owner of the establishment is responsible for royalties payable to the RIAA.
Isn't there something backwards in all this? It was deemed illegal for the record companies to pay radio stations to play their music and I can see why. The only thing we would hear is the music put out by companies with the deepest pockets. The state of radio nowadays is so void of quality content I am hard pressed to see this as an issue anyway. Maybe these problems go hand in hand.
There is a solution. Like I said, there is something that is completely ass backwards from the way normal business is done. Next we are going to have the movie industry charging places that show trailers for upcoming flicks. No, they pay to have that trailer put out just like any other form of advertising.
So why doesn't the radio station, the bar keep and any other place that puts out music do the same thing? Tell the boys over at RIAA that if they want their music on the airwaves then it is time to pony up and pay the advertising dollar for us to promote your artist. If they want to share in the rewards then they should also share in the cost of doing business. It really does make more sense. If the product is not that great, then no amount of advertising will help to sell it so we are going to have better quality music available.
Can you imagine Myspace telling them, "Sure you can have our nifty little player to promote your group. We will send you a bill per how many plays it gets."
The fact is, there is just not enough revenue to support an organization like this. It is like a government run program and we all know how well those usually turn out. It is this type of action that has put the radio industry in the state it is in.
I read an article that reading a persons thoughts might just be around the corner. The next line said that the RIAA is preparing a lawsuit to collect for that song we get stuck in our head! If they make it impossible to hear music in the first place than they are going to end up destroying the industry that provides their existence.