Tired Of Students And Grandmothers, The RIAA Now Going After Radio

“”They’ve gotten 50-some years of free play, now maybe it’s time to pay up.”

No doubt looking for any way it can shore up decreasing revenue amid slumping CD sales, the RIAA and several artists’ groups are nor going after radio broadcasters to collect additional royalties from aired music.

“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.”

Radio broadcasters already compensate composers and publishers but, never before have they had to pay royalties to artists or record labels. Since the airplay of albums spurs sales, they have long enjoyed a federal exemption that allows them to avoid paying any royalties.

“Congress has always recognized that broadcasters generate enormous sums of revenue to record companies and artists in terms of airplay,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. Radio stations also have public-interest obligations that satellite and Internet broadcasters don’t have to worry about, he said.”

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