RADIO: Pay Performance Royalties Because Music Is A Commodity

Get this: The only other industrialized countries that don’t compensate performers when their works are played over the air are IranChina and North Korea

Chris Gray wrote the Houston Press’ story on performing rights. That the USA is on the same side as the Axis Of Evil when it comes to performance rights might seem shocking to those of you that think we are the good guys in the intellectual property debate of the 21st Century. Not so!

“It would cost us so much money, we pay enough money now to ASCAP and BMI, and I’m sure the money goes to the right place.” –  Michael Petrizzo General Manager KCOH

You might agree with this sentiment. As an ASCAP member, I have rarely reaped any benefit financially. Maybe I’m not successful enough? Yet, songs I have performed — songs that I have covered AND also songs that I wrote — have been broadcast via terrestrial radio not to mention satellite and internet. The royalties have been pitiful. It would seem you need to blow up to Britney Spears’ level to gain anything, and even then, the income would only go to the writer.

I understand that the fees may hurt indie stations a little. But, where else can one startup ride on the back of another and expect FREE? The time has come to adjust intellectual property rights to reflect the technological advancements of the day. And to those companies and radio stations that make a profit from playing music they didn’t create, how can you sleep at night knowing you get away with this? YES, authors should get paid. But isn’t the performer and their performance worth SOMETHING?

Go ahead, grumble amongst yourselves. And while you’re at it, here’s another perspective also written by Chris Gray just to keep it real.


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