Fading Radio, Recording Outfits Clash Over Royalties

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2009 5:50 PM CDT
Fading Radio, Recording Outfits Clash Over Royalties
Clear Channel, which owns many stations nationwide, is in the mix.   (AP Photo)

The recording industry and radio-station owners are clashing in Washington over the issue of royalties, Bloomberg reports. Both sides have spent tens of millions on lobbying, and contributed to the campaigns of legislators of both parties. At present, radio stations pay royalties to songwriters and publishers, not artists. “This issue is one of fundamental fairness,” said Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.

Corgan testified on Capitol Hill as spokesman for the industry. His opposite number, a Kentucky station owner, told legislators radio stations are “the best friend of artists and record labels.” Both industries have seen a plunge in revenue in recent years. Radio says royalties could take 20% of their profits, cutting into basic services like news. The recording industry says numbers like that are “scare tactics.” (Read more RIAA stories.)

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