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Time to pay the performers their due

August 10, 2009
The Daily Mining Gazette

If you believe people deserve to get paid for their work, it's hard to argue against a bill in Congress that would require radio stations to pay musicians when they play their songs.

We love radio. We especially love music on the radio, the very sound of summer, dancing across beaches, sailing out open car windows. We are loath to support any new law that might hurt radio, an industry already struggling with declining revenues in the Internet Age.

But we love getting paid for our work even more, and we think everybody deserves to get paid for the job they do, including recording artists. As much as we love radio, we find ourselves in full support of the Performance Rights Act, a bill moving through the House that would require radio stations to pay royalties to musicians. ...

The recorded music industry, like the radio business, is struggling to survive in the Internet age. Music sales have plummeted as people download music for free online. Looking for a lifeline, performers are demanding radio royalties. ...

When an oldies AM or FM radio station plays ''Soul Man,'' for example, the estates of the songwriters - Isaac Hayes and David Porter - are compensated, but the great Sam & Dave, who made the song a hit, get nothing.

The new law would bring the United States in line with much of the Western world, including Canada, Mexico and England, where radio stations have long paid performance royalties.

Chicago Sun-Times



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