Radio and Royalties

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, will.i.am, Dionne Warwick and Patti LaBelle, as well as other musicians, appeared at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

They want Congress to force radio stations to pay performers when their music is broadcast.

While satellite radio, internet radio and cable TV music channels already pay musician, performer and songwriter royalties, the standard AM and FM radio stations only pay songwriter royalties, according to the Associated Press.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which opposes the measure, said an additional fee would put thousands of radio jobs at risk, and that radio already helps musicians and performers out, because it advertises their concerts and CDs.

To date, there have been some bills introduced in the House and Senate that, if passed, would make radio stations pay performers every time their song is played.

One of the guidelines proposed would be as followed: Smaller commercial radio stations would pay $5,000 a year, and public radio and college stations would pay $1,000 a year. The larger stations’ fee would be based on the fair market value of the songs, as reviewed through a government regulatory board, according to the Associated Press.

So, music fans, my question to you is: Do you agree or disagree that radio stations need to pay the performers in addition to songwriters? Why or why not?

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