In a recent article on the Performance Rights Act (7/3/09), the Los Angeles Times regurgitated a label argument that under current conditions, with radio stations exempt from paying a performance royalty, that many musicians are forced to perform well into their 70s to order to survive. Since “most of the royalty fees generated by the act would be paid to musicians,” passage of the act would allow them to have a decent retirement.
RBR/TVBR observation: This argument completely glosses over the fact that record labels will earn 50% of PRA dollars, with headliner musicians picking up 45% when they qualify and all other participating performers splitting a measly 5%. And it neglects to point out that a 70-year-old musician is likely not a chart-topper these days and is getting airplay only on oldies outlets – and oldies is not a dominant format. PRA remains a money grab by the labels, who continue to hide behind the musicians they failed to compensate fairly in the first place.