Radio May Need To Pay To Play

Aron Schatz
December 20, 2007
Tags Music Legal

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In a turn around move, Congress may force regular radio stations to pay for performances. This is contrast to what they do now. They don't pay anything. Satellite and Internet radio needs to pay, and the RIAA wants everyone to pay them for anything. I agree that someone should be paid. It should be the artists directly, not some front organization setup by the RIAA.


While radio does pay a fee to songwriters, it pays no performance rights fee, in contrast to just about every other developed country on the planet. The broadcasters argue that they are providing free advertising to musicians, who then make money from touring and record sales. Plenty of artists don't buy this (especially older artists who don't tour or sell albums, but whose hits still keep oldies stations in business), and they can't see why radio is exempted from paying for the music it uses to rake in ad dollars. Tom Waits, one of the most innovative singer/songwriters of the last quarter century, helped to found the musicFIRST coalition that advocates for a performance fee. "It's just plain wrong for radio to be allowed to build profitable businesses with growing revenues on the backs of artists and musicians without paying them fairly for it," he said in a statement today.


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