Representative Mel Watt (D-N.C.) today introduced the Free Market Royalty Act, legislation that would (among other things) effectively establish a performance right for terrestrial broadcast radio.
The modern music market is dynamic, innovative, and driven by consumer demand. Today, fans have unprecedented choices for getting the music they want in the way they want it, including new online and mobile platforms. But a healthy and vibrant marketplace cannot be sustained when those involved in creating the music that captivates fans are unable to receive fair market value for their work. Historical anomalies that can no longer be justified now result in an uneven commercial playing field favoring certain platforms and businesses over others.
We appreciate Congressman Watt's commitment to addressing the antiquated laws and subsidies that favor traditional businesses and constrain today’s marketplace. All platforms for which music is the central ingredient should pay for the music that drives their business. It is time to redress these wrongs to ensure rights holders and those who create music are compensated fairly.
Cara Duckworth Weiblinger
VP, Communications, RIAA
Google recently posted a report that outlined its efforts to fight online piracy. Certainly, Google has amassed an impressive array of data in its report. And there’s a lot to applaud, and we are grateful for the steps they’ve taken. But ultimately, the appropriate benchmarks are metrics that demonstrate that piracy has been reduced. As much as Google may be doing, Benjamin Franklin cautioned that we must ‘never confuse motion for action.’ At least in the case of search results, for all of the motion being generated by both Google and the RIAA -- our search removal requests will hit 30 million this week -- it is increasingly clear we are making insufficient progress against piracy.
It is in everyone’s interest to sit down and agree on steps Google can take that will actually make a demonstrable difference in the lives of the music community. We should figure out how, by working together, we can better promote the extensive array of digital music services and ensure that all those notices and take downs actually reduce piracy. Let’s get to work.