The RIAA has a new “freeloader” in its sights, traditional radio stations. According to the LA Times, the RIAA is going after the federal exemption that allows broadcasters to avoid paying performance royalties to record labels and performers because radio play sells records.
“The creation of music is suffering because of declining sales,” said RIAA Chief Executive Mitch Bainwol. “We clearly have a more difficult time tolerating gaps in revenues that should be there.”
The National Association of Broadcasters responds,
“The existing system actually provides the epitome of fairness for all parties: free music for free promotion,” wrote NAB President David Rehr.
Our friend Howard Berman (D-California) unsurprisingly supports removing the exemption, “Given the many different ways to promote music now that didn’t exist as effectively when this original exemption was made,” he said, “the logic of that I think is more dubious.” —MEGHANN MARCO