Friday, May 20, 2016

Do You Love Music? Silicon Valley Doesn’t; New York Times, 5/20/16

Jonathan Taplin, New York Times; Do You Love Music? Silicon Valley Doesn’t:
"Unfortunately, there is a sad history of undervaluing musicians in the United States. Terrestrial radio, a $17 billion industry, pays publishing rights (payments to songwriters) but has never paid artists or record companies for music. In addition, the satellite radio company, SiriusXM, pays below-market royalties, thanks to a giveaway it first wrested from Congress 20 years ago. Conglomerates like iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel Communications) and other online services like Pandora, which are required to pay artists for digital streams, have exploited federal copyright law to deny payments for work recorded before 1972 (songwriters are paid; performers are not). This means artists like Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry and John Coltrane never received a dime from AM/FM radio and or from many digital services for some of their greatest music.
The last meaningful legislation in this area was the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, which was based on the idea that creators should monitor the Internet for illegal copies of their works and give “notice” to websites and services to take pirated material down. Under the act’s “safe harbor” provisions, any service or site that makes a minimal effort to address these notices is immune from liability for piracy or theft."

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