SoundNotion 93: 2.6 Million + 1 People

On SoundNotion, Tod Machover collaborates with 2.6 million, the RSC to reform copyright for the public good, (no wait) the RSC wimps out over copyright reform, the Internet Radio Fairness Act draws opinions and Anthony Tommasini wants your special moments.

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  • Andrew Hudson

    The bit about internet vs. satellite royalties got me thinking– why should artists get paid less for distributor-picked content than for consumer-picked content? The content is chosen and consumed, either way. I understand the concept of giving away content as advertising, but I’m not sure how this is connected– ultimately, the consumer still chooses to continue listening to a song.

  • I think there are probably a lot of reasons for the disparity. First, when the structure for paying for what you call “distributor-picked” content is much older. At the time, we only had radio. Radio was (and remains) thought of as a form of advertising for the record industry. In that case, it’s the radio station that has the power in negotiation.

    “Consumer-picked” is a newer thing, and its fees were negotiated in a different power system. For a streaming media service like Spotify, it’s much more important for them to have all of the major labels on board than it is for the major labels to be there.

    And really that’s the problem with all of these imbalances. Each medium (and several variations on each medium) work under different constraints. They didn’t come to market at the same time, and none of the contracts or laws written for any of them envisioned the media of the future. The reasonable way forward is to find a technology-agnostic solution, but there’s too much money on the table to ask everyone to pick up their markers and start over.