OPINION Big Music Doesn’t Need a Bailout from Big Government
By Human Events Opinion | January 21, 2022 By Dan Perkins – New Contributor!
Big Music — in particular, the world’s largest record labels — is asking Congress to advance yet another industry bailout.
Does this major lobbying interest ever know when to say enough is enough?
Just weeks ago, the labels received a substantial legislative victory when the House of Representatives passed an amendment that advanced their HITS legislation. HITS will “aid and support artists and producers struggling with the ongoing economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic” by amending the U.S. tax code to make it cheaper and easier to produce music.
Rather than celebrate this notable victory, Big Music has already moved onto its next ask. It now wants the legislative branch to pass the American Music Fairness Act and charge local radio stations for playing music over the air.
The labels’ whole reason for existing is to maximize the exposure of artists’ music, and radio stations do it for them at no cost. What other product receives free advertising, reaching hundreds of millions of people each week? The truth is that the mass promotion of music by local radio stations is crucial for Big Music’s bottom line.
Just three months ago, the Copyright Royalty Board, the federal government’s statutory music rate setting body, acknowledged the value of radio airplay, when it wrote: “the bulk of the evidence is persuasive that labels perceive a distinct promotional value in over the air radio play of their recordings.” And yet, here Big Music is, asking to be paid for this lucrative free promotion anyway.It’s not as if the labels are struggling financially. Rolling Stone reported that the major music companies’ profits soared in 2020 — the year of chaos — which has given them […]
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