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RIAA Wants Songwriter Royalty Lowered 343

Posted by kdawson
from the more-for-meeeeee dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "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 — about 13% of the wholesale price — down to 8% of wholesale. Meanwhile, the big digital music companies, such as Apple, want the royalty rate lowered even more, to something like 4% of wholesale. So any representations by any of these companies that they are concerned for the 'creators' of the music must henceforth be taken with a boxcar-load of salt."
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RIAA Wants Songwriter Royalty Lowered

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  • Wither Lars? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) <joeXbanks@NosPAm.hotmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:12PM (#22302162)
    I eagerly await the insightful words of Lars Ulrich, Dr. Dre, et al to explain to me why pissing off the people who were perfectly willing to pony up good money for concerts, T-shirts and, yes, full retail priced CDs was worth it in the end.
  • by _merlin (160982) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:13PM (#22302172) Homepage Journal
    Stupid pigopolists. Aren't they supposed to be on the artists' side? This blatant money-grab is just one more nail in their coffin. More artists will find ways to sell directly to the public, or form their own collectives with their own interests at heart. Of course, that's how the RIAA started, but it is well past its usefulness and needs to be replaced.
  • by rizzo320 (911761) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:15PM (#22302182)
    The RIAA has come a long way since they were setup to regulate and maintain the technical standards on how vinyl records should be manufactured. Hopefully they will go the way of the vinyl record real soon...
  • LAWL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:16PM (#22302196)
    This is too funny they want more money in compensation for each illegaly downloaded file yet want to give less to the artists that make it...
  • by syousef (465911) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:17PM (#22302200) Journal
    ...because they're going about the right way of lowering the loyalty rate of artists and customers alike.
  • Wow. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:17PM (#22302204)
    '"Fundamentally, this fragile marketplace is showing signs of promise, but it cannot be saddled with additional, excessive costs," DiMA wrote. "The board should be careful not to impose a royalty that kills the proverbial goose and deprives songwriters and publishers of their golden egg."'

    A little nugget of FUD to mask the fact that digital downloads are going to render obsolete their entire middleman operation.
  • by macdaddy357 (582412) <macdaddy357@hotmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:17PM (#22302206)
    RIAA: Recording Industrialists Against Artists.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:25PM (#22302290) Homepage Journal
    The H1B issue is the same way: lobbyists squirm and wiggle to bend statistics and magnify (or make up) anecdotes to sell the idea that there are not enough citizen programmers or not good enough citizen programmers and therefore the industry needs H1B's in order to prevent an economic collapse. It is all just a ploy to get cheaper labor. This is what happens when business lobbyists have more power over legislators than voters. It's that simple.
  • by syzler (748241) <david@nOspAm.syzdek.net> on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:25PM (#22302292)
    Aren't they supposed to be on the artists' side?

    Yes, just not the artist you thought. They are really on the side of the con artists (I.E. the corp backers).
  • by TheLink (130905) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:26PM (#22302304) Journal
    If they actually use the "Save the Artists" thing then maybe someone should sue them for _fraud_ just to publicise the issue and drop the case quietly before it goes to court ;).
  • Re:Wither Lars? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Trogre (513942) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:28PM (#22302318) Homepage
    And Bono. Don't forget Bono.

    On second thoughts, perhaps we should :)

  • by Slisochies (1183131) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:33PM (#22302366)
    I bet that the prices for the songs won't be lowered as a result...
  • by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:36PM (#22302398)

    Stupid pigopolists.
    Eh. That's too close for "capitalist" for my liking. What you've got is a cartel that's trying to keep itself alive. True Capitalism - I'm talking Ayn Rand style Capitalism - would laugh at this pathetic copy.

    Aren't they supposed to be on the artists' side?
    The RIAA? No.... It's the Recording Industry Association of America. Keyword is "Industry".

    Trust me: the industry can find a thousand people to write crap like this [azlyrics.com]:

    Oh baby, baby
    Oh baby, baby
    Oh baby, baby
    How was I supposed to know
    That something wasn't right here
    Oh baby baby

    This blatant money-grab is just one more nail in their coffin.
    Yes, but you didn't kill the bastard before putting him in the coffin! Duh! He's banging and screaming and pissing & shitting himself senseless - because he knows, unless someone rescues him, he'll die soon. ;)

    More artists will find ways to sell directly to the public,
    Well, the ways already exist.... It's easy for a new artist to go this route, but for an established band with contracts and whatnot... notsomuch.

    For the record, one of my all time fav artists does this. Ayria [ayria.com]. She's cute, too!

    or form their own collectives with their own interests at heart.
    ooh, goodie! How long until they become just as bad - or worse - than the RIAA? Seriously, this tendency of people to group themselves.. is boring... and annoying.

    Of course, that's how the RIAA started,
    Wait, hold on! You KNOW that has happened in the past and you want to repeat it?!

    What?! Should we try Communism ONE MORE TIME because THIS TIME we'll "do it right"? Ha. Come on. ;)

    but it is well past its usefulness and needs to be replaced.
    Eh. The RIAA will continue to exist, in some form, for a long time. The fangs need to be removed, tho.
  • They are constantly beathing that drum, claiming to be looking out for the "artists, songwriters, [and] musicians" [riaa.org] but that's just propaganda. If they admitted they were just looking out for record company executives, it wouldn't go over as well. Here they have shown their true colors.
  • That's it... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:42PM (#22302456)
    From now on, I'm pirating everything, and I'll mail some money to the band.
  • The digital shift. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:43PM (#22302464)
    Remember, the RIAA consider the "artists" to be "content providers", and their music as a simple commodity. Everything must go at the same low, low price. The vendors can cover their costs and acceptable profit margins using the economies of scale. Everyone and anything else is of no consequence.

    I'm sure the RIAA and MPAA would be quite happy if the "artists" would do as they're told, the "consumers" would buy whatever's being sold at the price offered, the internet would go away and everyone would simply shut the hell.

    I'm sure they would enjoy their huge salaries and bonuses much more without all the whining.

  • 8/13 = 62% (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday February 04, 2008 @11:50PM (#22302510) Homepage Journal
    Cutting 13% down to 8% is a 38% reduction.

    So everyone else's cut is going up, even though the songwriter's costs and work are the same. But the rest of the "value" chain to the consumer (which now is composed mostly of the consumer, recommending and trying to share the content) is drastically reduced in cost and increased in availability of inventory (which was typically paid off according to plan many years ago).
  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:07AM (#22302614) Homepage Journal

    At issue is the so-called "mechanical royalty" -- payments made for copies of sound recordings, including those made by digital means, to songwriters and publishers.
    Basically, the problem is, when you're speaking DIGITALLY, there is no difference between "copying a recording" (ie download for the purposes of saving a file) and "performing a recording" (download eg streaming, for the purposes of audio playback in the physical world).

    For This Reason, New Media Players (Apple, Yahoo, Napster, etc) argue that the "mechanical royalty for copyright" should be lowered significantly on digital downloads (specifically, to 4%).

    RIAA etc argue the fee should be dropped only slightly (specifically, only to 8%).

    RIAA are arguing to maintain profits for their (arguably, exceedingly dinosaur-like) "distribution model".

    "While record companies have been forced to drastically cut costs and employees, music publisher catalogs have increased in value due to ...... alternative revenue streams made possible, but not enjoyed, by record companies."
    ie "we see you've worked out new ways to make profits, so pay us (even more) money even though we have not contributed anything new to the equation".

    The New Media crew are arguing the way of sanity and intelligence. (ie trying to push the 'downloads are effectively performances, because there's no way to differentiate' argument)

    New-media companies want the rate to go even lower, contending that it should disappear when music is digitally streamed.

    Every time you hear something new from the RIAA it boils down to "someone needs to shovel more money into our bank accounts, without any additional effort or contribution on our part. Our business model dictates an infinitely increasing profit margin, for infinitely decreasing effort, ad-infinitum."

    And the same can be said of those ISPs who intend to violate the concept of "net-neutrality". ("someone's making money , and the bits cross our network. Ignore the fact we already billed someone for those bits, I want to directly bill BOTH the producer AND the consumer of those bits, even though they have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with me").

    That's not a business-model, that's a fantasy.
  • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:22AM (#22302736) Homepage

    Wait, hold on! You KNOW that has happened in the past and you want to repeat it?!

    So do you support banning all legal fictions in business or do you believe that only one side should enjoy collective bargaining and the peons should eat cake?

    In other words if it's fair enough for corporations to form and use the bargaining power that comes from vast resources beyond those of any individual worker, then you should also find it perfectly fair that the workers do the same.

    Meanwhile, even if you DO believe that all legal fictions should be dissolved, you must acknowledge that it hasn't happened and shows no sign of happening. Unless or until it does, labor has little option besides organize, become the subjects of a new corporatocracy, or start chopping people's heads off. I would argue that option 2 leads inevitably to option 3 at some point.

    What?! Should we try Communism ONE MORE TIME because THIS TIME we'll "do it right"? Ha. Come on. ;)

    That might be a lot more cutting if capitalism had a better track record.

    I would suggest that all things considered, capitalism is the lesser of the two evils but is still evil. The right solution (whatever that may be) is none of the above.

  • The only thing they know to do is lose money.
  • Re:Wither Lars? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spyder-implee (864295) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:20AM (#22303174)
    Haha, he is, after-all just a big turd.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:20AM (#22303182)
    'R' is for 'recording'.

    You'll notice it's not the "Songwriting Industry Association of America", nor the "Music Publishing Industry Association of America"?
  • Re:Why the RIAA? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @01:34AM (#22303278) Homepage Journal
    Huh? The RIAA doesn't deal with terrestrial radio

    You are correct. My mistake.
       
  • by Eskarel (565631) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @02:30AM (#22303622)
    Communism according to Marx is the small town writ large. That's it. No magic, no huge government aparatus, no secret police, it's just the idea that as we evolve as a society we will find a way to interact economically with each other in a billion person city the way we did when we had a town of 20 and we knew everyone. It's basically ethics without observation.
  • by Martian_Kyo (1161137) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:33AM (#22304786)
    Before the revolution of digital distribution
    The artist(s),engineers and producers had to sit down, write/plagirise the lyrics figure out the chords, make the musical arrangements record the song.

    The industry had to take care of the printing of the actual cd's its physical distribution to certain stores etc etc etc..in short it had to do a decent amount of work

    After the revolution of digital distribution
    The artist(s),engineers and producers had to sit down, write/plagirise the lyrics figure out the chords, make the musical arrangements record the song. Basically do the same amount of work.

    The industry has less cd's to distribute and print, and most of the distribution can be done via websites. Which once created and designed, require a relatively simple upload of a certain album/song which can be done by well trained cat and dog tandem.

    So the artist does the same amount of work as before, the recording industry less work then before....and the artist gets paaaaid less....hmm makes sense.

  • Re:Why the RIAA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cliffski (65094) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @08:18AM (#22305200) Homepage
    Sorry to interrupt your diatribe against THE MAN, but as I recall Al Capone was a gangster, the man behind the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. And yet you would compare this with a trade body that tries to protect its revenue model and earn money from selling music?
    Get some fucking perspective. Yes the RIAA act like idiots and have questionable morals, but this adolescent whining that compares them to real violent criminals who kill, torture and maim people just totally discredits the entire argument, and makes people opposed to the RIAA look like dorks.

    I genuinely believe that geeky kids get more upset these days by having to pay for mp3s than they do if their president lies to them in order to start a war for his self interest.
    get some perspective.
  • by chaosdot (1232158) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @08:22AM (#22305228)
    Reducing costs is good for the Industry.

    They want a reduction of the percentage paid out. 8 cents versus 13 cents. This is from the dollar already made.
    Will Apple drop the price 5 cents to .94 a song?
    Will the music companies drop the wholesale cost to Apple by 5 cents?
    (per $, for those thinking it's bad math.. but my point is..)

    Reduce costs, maintain prices, profit. Good for the industry, bad for the creative process.
    But those songs are already written, so things like the Writer's strike would be ineffective in bringing about equity.
  • Re:Why the RIAA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JosKarith (757063) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @11:53AM (#22307256)
    "but this adolescent whining that compares them to real violent criminals who kill, torture and maim people just totally discredits the entire argument, and makes people opposed to the RIAA look like dorks" A little like comparing people who copy music to real violent criminals who attack peaceful vessels on the sea to kill, torture and maim people completely discredits the RIAA's argument huh?
  • Re:Why the RIAA? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @12:48PM (#22308074) Journal

    Sorry to interrupt your diatribe against THE MAN, but as I recall Al Capone was a gangster, the man behind the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. And yet you would compare this with a trade body that tries to protect its revenue model and earn money from selling music?


    Hmm

    Al Capone: Provided a quality product against the government's objections.

    RIAA: Provides crap with the government's assistance.

    Al Capone: Kills competitors (either himself or through his direct subordinates)

    RIAA: Kills competition (collusion, price-fixing), bankrupts people through the legal system, gets laws passed to put geeks in pound-me-in-the-ass Federal Prison for writing software.

    Get some fucking perspective. Yes the RIAA act like idiots and have questionable morals, but this adolescent whining that compares them to real violent criminals who kill, torture and maim people just totally discredits the entire argument, and makes people opposed to the RIAA look like dorks.


    Their eagerness to get criminal laws passed to accomplish their objectives means that the difference between them and Capone is that they use more intermediaries.

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