|On Monday, the recording industry sent the National Association of Broadcasters -- the trade group representing the $16 billion a year AM-FM broadcasting business -- a can of herring to underscore that it believes its arguments against paying royalties are a red herring. The NAB says its members should not pay royalties because AM-FM radio "promotes" the music industry.
The herring present followed another gift -- a dictionary, a bid by the recording industry to explain what it saw as the difference between fees and taxes. The NAB describes the latest royalty proposal as a tax.
|"It's a form of piracy, if you will, but not in the classic sense as we think of it," said Martin Machowsky, a musicFirst spokesman. "Today we gifted them a can of herring, about their argument that they provide promotional value. We think that's a red herring. Nobody listens to the radio for the commercials."
The coalition includes the Recording Industry Association of America, Society of Singers, Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Recording Academy and others.
The argument boils down to this: Radio is making billions off the backs of recording artists and their labels; and the recording artists gain invaluable exposure because they're on the radio, so royalties should not have to be paid.
|Internet, cable and satellite broadcasters pay royalties to all participants involved. Singers, musicians and the labels get no royalties when AM-FM radio broadcasters air their songs.|