This is news to me: A coalition of artists called musicFIRST is asserting that performers in the United States have digital performance rights when their music is played on satellite radio, internet radio and cable services, but NOT when it is broadcast via AM or FM radio. I don’t know much about this sort of thing, but that surprises me, and it seems ridiculous. Needless to say, musicFIRST is trying to change the status quo.
More tidbits from musicFIRST’s FAQs:
- “… a January 2007 study conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas stated that ‘Radio play does not have the positive impact on record sales normally attributed to it. Instead, it appears to have an economically important negative impact, implying that overall radio listening is more of a substitute for the purchase of sound recordings than it is a complement.’”
- “Currently, when American music is played in foreign countries, they withhold royalties to protest the fact that United States radio stations do not honor a performance right for foreign artists.”
Among musicFIRSTs’s Founding Artists are Aimee Mann, BB King, Brian Wilson, Don Henley, Dr. Dre, Dr. John, Jimmy Buffet, Keb’ Mo’, Pete Seeger, Placido Domingo, will.i.am, and, apparently in a naked attempt to add some heft to that list of musical lightweights, The Pussycat Dolls.