If you’re visiting NAB headquarters soon and get hungry, CEO David Rehr might be able to offer you some herring. He received it as a gift from the record industry, which accused him of raising a red herring in the debate over performance royalties. The RIAA-backed MusicFirst Coalition sent the canned fish as it accused Rehr of raising a red herring in claiming that AM and FM stations should not pay a performance fee because they provide free exposure to recording artists, who then are able to sell records. MusicFirst says the real issue is that “terrestrial radio stand alone as the only platform that does not compensate the artists and musicians who bring music to life and listeners’ ears to the radio dial.
"This is so lame that it barely warrants a response. Instead of sending fish to radio stations that advanced the careers of artists, RIAA should send food to the entertainers that foreign record labels have abused for decades," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton.
RBR/TVBR observation: As we’ve noted before, we agree with MusicFirst’s position that all platforms should pay the same rate. In our view, that should be zero. It is outrageous that Internet streamers have to pay for the privilege of helping artists and labels sell records.