Sunday, March 1, 2009

Radio Radio: the Most Ludicrous Statement I Have Read this Year

I am not entirely sure of my position on the whole issue of paying performance royalties to artists for airplay on traditional radio, although my gut feeling tells me that it is right and appropriate. However, my skin is still crawling from reading the following statement from a woman named Cathy Rought, a spokeswoman for a group called the Free Radio Alliance. Speaking at a Congressional hearing on the issue last week, she is reported by the Tennessean to have said:

"The notion that radio is somehow harming property rights is silly. The artist is in essence an employee of the label and is supposed to be paid by the label."

I followed her up to the second sentence. I don't suppose that Ms. Rought has ever read a recording agreement, most of which make it explicitly clear that the artist is not an employee of the label. Nor do I believe that Ms. Rought has considered the thousands of artists who release their music independently. As I said above, I don't know how this debate can be resolved but I am certain that these absurd outdated assumptions need to be done away with.

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