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Tuesday 21 May 2002

CARPing about Royalties

In a rare bit of heartening news about copyright, it appears that the Library of Congress has rejected the music industry’s recent blatant attempt to kill off Internet ‘radio’.

However, this probably only means that the music industry will come up with something even more idiotic. The thought processes of these people are illustrated well by a comment made on Marketplace (about 21:50 into that stream) by John Simpson, executive director of Sound Exchange — the music industry organization that was set up to collect the crippling royalties the CARP plan would have imposed:

If governement wants to subsidize a new business, an emerging business that is fine. I don’t think the music industry should subsidize [internet radio] like we have traditional radio over the last 70 years.

They apparently see radio as something that they are subsidizing, rather than the single most important promotional tool for their product.

Commercial radio in the USA was born on November 2, 1920, when KDKA started broadcasting in Pittsburgh. RCA got into the recorded music business (by purchasing the Victor Talking Machine Company, whose logo was a dog listening to a gramophone, a logo that RCA continues to exploit to this day) in 1928. EMI was formed by a merger of HMV and the Columbia Gramophone Company in 1931.

If anything, it’s radio that made possible large-scale businesses built on recorded music, not the other way round.

Posted by tino at 13:14 21.05.02
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