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White House to Radio Stations: “Pay to Play.”

image from personal.georgiasouthern.edu In a new White House report, IP Czar Victoria Espinel comes out in favor of radio stations paying artists when their music is played on-air. Espinel recommends "creating a right of public performance for copyright owners for sound recordings transmitted by over-the-air broadcast stations." Depending which side of the issue you stand on, this suggestion can be taken either way, abosolutely great or bad.

If you're a Pandora user, it's likely that you support traditional radio having to pay the exact same fees they do. If you're a music industry critic, it's likely that you believe that labels shouldn't be able to tax stations for promoting their music.

After all, the labels used to pay stations to play their music because they viewed radio play as advertising. But, the labels, in case you haven't heard, have seen sales of recorded music decline and are now looking to collect their bounty.

Of course, the debate isn't that black and white, but it's how varied opinions are.

Considering that Pandora almost went belly up due to royalty costs, it's tempting to argue that the nails should be stuck to stations. It's only fair, as it would place the two on level playing fields, and come on, who doesn't want artists to get paid?

Then again, this is the music industry and if the past is any sign, those royalties could get "lost" in the label system and never quite find their way back to artists.

So, while it's championed that artists will get paid, it's the labels that benefit.

Where do you stand on this issue?


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