Maine’s Bangor Daily News took a look at the relationship between artists, record labels and radio stations and concluded that the Performance Rights Act doesn’t make any sense and should be deep-sixed for good.
The editorial writers said that musicians from Bing Crosby to Blink 182 have all enjoyed the benefit of free airplay on radio.
It says there is no doubt that the recording industry is hurting, “much of it blamed on unauthorized digital downloads and file sharing,” and says they want to tap radio for royalty cash in an effort to bounce back. “It’s a bad idea.”
BDN notes that one of the biggest problems for musicians and labels alike is the lack of respect for their copyright. It says protecting both from piracy should be strongly pursued.
“But lashing out at radio stations, which introduce musicians to the public, is not the answer.” BDN said music fans are hoping that labels will find their way to solvency so they can provide a wider catalog of music for sale, but adds the caveat, “Bleeding radio stations is not the way to profitability.”
RBR/TVBR observation: The readers of the Bangor Daily News who appended comments to this article were way down on the record labels. Only one thought PRA was a good idea.
They said the labels cheat artists, constrict the flow of new music and sue their own customers. One said musicians would stand a much better chance of making money if the labels were out of the picture.
Who knows? With more musicians seeing to their own recording and marketing, and with distribution an electronic rather than a truck to brick-and-mortar proposition, and with the labels streak of less-than-brilliant business policy decisions, we may soon find out how musicians do on their own with a boost from radio.