Monday, February 04, 2008

RIAA trying to get songwriter royalties lowered

Lest there be anyone left who believes the RIAA's propaganda that its litigation campaign is intended to benefit the 'creators' of the music, Hollywood Reporter reports that the RIAA is asking the Copyright Royalty Board to lower songwriter royalties on song file downloads, from the present rate of 9 cents per song -- which translates to about 13% of the wholesale price -- down to 8% of the wholesale price, or around 5 1/2 cents per song.

Meanwhile, the big digital music companies, such as Apple, want the royalty rate lowered even more, to something like 4% of wholesale, or less than 3 cents per song.

So any representations by any of these companies that they are concerned for the 'creators' of the music, should be taken with a grain -- er, truckload -- of salt.

Commentary & discussion:

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Keywords: digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property


Anonymous said...

I'm certain that any reduction in songwriter royalties is intended to line the RIAA's pockets - not benefit the consumer with lower prices.

Now that the RIAA is trying to eat into their own creative talent (without songwriters, the performers have nothing to sing), the infighting in the music family should get really ugly.

The RIAA does seem bound and determined to become hated by every other possible group on the planet, if not the universe.

-Dodge Magnum

Alter_Fritz said...

Well, not every Label CEO is greedy for himself, a member of the "RIAA-family" or sees the artists only as "content providers" like the RIAA guys do*

Quote from a Label CEO that got it "I want this positive attention to be a smack across the face to those in the recording industry that waste their time harassing people for ripping CDs." **



James said...

Just another reason for up-and-coming artists to bypass Big Mu$ic entirely, and for established acts to follow the lead of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead and ditching their "major" labels.

Anonymous said...


Once upon a time it was very expensive to set up a professional recording studio, vinyl pressing plant, printing plant, and promotion. Later on CD's arrived, also costing a fortune to master and duplicate. It required a lot of up-front money to make a record well before the the first disc was ever sold.

CD's remained affordable because of the wealth of existing material that only needed to be moved over to the new medium, and not re-recorded.

Personal computers and audio software have cut the cost of a full recording/mixing studio by a factor of a hundred. CD burners and digital distribution over the Internet have replaced vinyl and CD foundries. Printing is Photoshop + PageMaker + Kinkos. Promotion is your band's web page, independent music sites, and word of mouth on blogs.

The old record labels that truly catered to their small stable of artists disappeared, or were bought up and swallowed by corporate music. The artists had little to say about who owned them now, and nowhere else to go.

Yet now setting up your own label is so cheap that individual bands to it. Independent labels have new outlets (streaming web radio, satellite radio, P2P) to use while they try to break into the payola fueled terrestrial radio networks. And non-traditional channels (Wal Mart and Starbucks) exist like never before.

In short, once you realize you can live without the big record labels, it has never been cheaper to record and get your music out to more people than ever before. Realize this, independent labels should be springing up faster than Big Music can buy them out, and doing again what they once did so well!

-Dodge Magnum