Okay, I was just listening to the radio like always when I hear an announcement. Congress is trying to tax us for every song they play on the radio. The worst part is that the tax money will be going to record companies and will not be benefiting the U.S. at all!
Is this just in Iowa or is it going on all over? I thought we declared our independence from Britain to escape stupid taxes like this. Are we going to have to declare our independence from Obama now too?
I remember first hearing about this over a year, maybe year and a half ago. The recording artists are wanting a cut in the revenue radio stations make from advertisements using royalties as a way to get this.
Easy resolution... Radio DJ's only play song by artists that waive the royalty fee. Without any airplay or TV promotion...the song is not heard and the recording artists loses a huge market to earn revenue from by the "free promotion." Charge the recording artist a "fee" to play their songs. Lastly...refuse to play their songs. There will be those who will take the free airplay.
This is just another attempt at record companies trying to earn back some money after huge falls in profits, without realizing that maybe the time has come to adapt to the Internet world, rather than bitch and whine about it before making a thousand frivolous lawsuits.
(The British music association was sued a few years back for invading privacy after they monitored a home computer downloading an mp3 file over a peer to peer network. The song turned out to be Mary had a Little Lamb, and the record company were deemed to have used illegal snooping methods. The fine for this was more than 10 times what they had gained through lawsuits.)
Why are you surpised - all of you? The rest of the world has been paying a fortune to the Performing Rights Society for years. Every radio station in Europe has to pay them a set fee in order to broadcast music, any music. Every town here in Spain has an office of the Performing Rights Society, with at least 3 staff members, all of whom no doubt get paid a small fortune. But it's not just every radio station, or TV station, its every bar that plays background music or has a television, or puts on karaoke. I had a bar that played background music, had a TV that wasn't conncted to the outside world in any way - it couldn't even play local Spanish channels because it wasn't connected to an antenna. It was only there for karaoke. But the PRS made me pay them €140 per month which doesn't sound a lot but is when you are struggling. Eventually I dumped the karaoke as that accounted for the bulk of the fees I paid them, but six months later they took me to court because basically once you start paying for this option, the option is not there to opt out, even though I did. I still lost my case and had to pay them back money. I've always wanted to know much of this money the actual performer sees. To me, various governments have just used this as another tax to keep us all down. Next door to me was a bar that couldn't get a music licence because they didn't have double doors, nor double glazing nor sound-proofing and their total area was far too small to be a music bar, but they regularly put on music nights, played karaoke, disturbed the neighbours and the resulting noise complaints got directed at me because everyone knew I had a music licence, but by this time I had stopped playing music. Thank God I am out of all of that now. Bloody nightmare. Doesn't pay to try to stay within the law. And the Performing Rights Society is a joke. They only ever went after licensed premises like mine - not next doors - they got away with paying nothing.
I've been reading my dystopian novels again...they just seem so relevant right now. Things like Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaid's Tale, 1984...just getting thoughtful. Being shocked all over again how much like real life fiction has become.
Start a war to keep production high, but without improving standards of living...create misdirection, misinformation everywhere...allow (even encourage) the degradation of language and education so people's very thought processes are limited. Make sure everyone is simultaneously afraid of and dependent upon Big Br...I mean, the government....Orwell's starting to read like a checklist...or is just me?
(kinda wishing someone will tell me it's just me, and make me believe it. )
Oh..Ok...it happens and it is now apparently happening in the US. Didn't the Performing Rights Society start in the US? How come Europe were paying for it before the US? That is really what I should have been asking. The idea behind it is good. All these guys that work hard to produce the music we listen to every day on the radio should be paid for their efforts, even if we don't buy the record. But now it just seems to be a scam. Who gets this money?
If you bother to read the act, it provides for entertainers to get paid royalties when some one uses their work publicly to make money. So if you record a song and the radio plays it to sell advetising and make piles of the stuff, they have to pay you.
It's not a 'tax' for the government or an infringement of anyones rights. If I was a radio station owner, I'd be against. If I was a creative person, I'd be for. But don't spin it as a tax.
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