Boyd Huppert: Radio vs. the music industry

Perhaps you’ve heard the spots on Twin Cities radio. The ads claim among other things that Congress wants to take money from local radio stations and send it to record companies overseas.

I just heard this radio ad around 5am this morning in Atlanta, GA.

Those radio spots are one salvo in battle being waged between the recording industry and the radio stations that play its music.

The recording companies (some of which are foreign owned) and their artists have argued for years that they should be paid royalties when their music is played by radio stations, as is the case in many other countries.

U.S. broadcasters do pay royalties, but only to the song writers.

“I think most people think that musicians, especially if their song is on the radio, make tons of money, and they don’t,” says Kenneth Abdo, an entertainment attorney with the Lommen Abdo law firm in Minneapolis.

“This gives the opportunity for that drummer, that backup guitar player, the musicians that are sort of the unsung heroes of the background of these great songs to get paid something,” says Abdo.

Under legislation recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee 50 percent of performance revenue would go to the record companies, 45 percent to primary artists and 5 percent to background singers and musicians.

But the radio industry insists it’s already compensating the recording industry through…

continue reading from source by Boyd Huppert

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