David Byrne Journal: 4.1.07: Your Government Working for You
The Copyright Royalty Board is proposing a large increase in the performance royalty rates for â€œnon-interactive streaming servicesâ€. This means web radio, cable radio and satellite radio will pay more to SoundExchange in royalties. Presumably those royalties eventually dribble down to the artists getting â€œplayedâ€, but itâ€™s never that simple. Itâ€™s a little complex and difficult to understand but let me see if I can describe what is in the offing.
I encourage you to read the whole piece, but here is another little snippet:
While traditional terrestrial radio does pay songwriter/publishing royalties for the musical work itself, in the U.S. they donâ€™t pay performance royalties for the sound recording under the rationale that airplay promotes the songs, which benefits the copyright holders. (This determination was mostly due to the radio industry lobbying congress not to collect these royalties.) Web radio, however, along with satellite and cable services, does pay performance royalties â€” these are the rates that are being raised now. (If this discrepancy sounds illogical, itâ€™s because it is.)
The recording industry is floundering, and I am hoping broadcast radio will be next. Many seem to agree that both industries changed for the worse in the nineties, but that would be a long post for another day…