Why is Congress involved in Performance Royalties?


Congressional involvement in this issue, is actually the issue, and the problem.  Just think about their comments at the hearing…..Maxine Waters says “minority broadcasters are hurting and she wants to help them, but this bill is a good place to start.”  What does that mean?  Is the money ‘non-minority’ broadcasters pay different, or will this become a racial divide? 

Non-Sensenbrenner has been there for thirty years, and threatens a testifying broadcaster with analogy of aiming his cannon squarely between his eyes so he can focus on the issue, or something equally ridiculous.  At least Ted Poe of Texas posed the interesting question of wondering why Congress is involved at all in negotiating this issue.  

I agree with Steve Newberry, though, when he said Conyers should instead be investigating the obvious conflict between the recording industry and the performing artists….that is where legitimate unfairness has been demonstrated for years….that is where there is a clear compensation problem that could require government intervention….that is where the lawsuits have been filed for decades of contract problems. 

Radio and artists have always loved each other….and record companies used to love us too, when the revenue stream worked for them.  I think our government is far too important to have congressional hearings on topics they clearly shouldn’t have to understand, and let the creation/production/promotion/distribution of music work through it own issues like we have for the past 80 years. 

I think we could all win, if artist compensation were honestly the only financial consideration.  I’d like to hear from more artists how they feel, but perhaps there is a reason most of them don’t want to bite either hand that feeds them.

Dennis Anderson
Montana broadcaster