As you may or may not know Pandora is trying to push a bill through congress that would slash payments to artists by as much as 85%. By “pushing through congress” we actually mean paying-oops er we mean being a “top contributor” to Rep. Chaffetz according to Open Secrets, and then Chaffetz magically sponsors the IRFA bill which will pretty much just benefit Pandora. Pandora pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobbyists including a former legislative director of a leading member of the House Judiciary Committee. It will let Pandora get around agreements it made with artists unions and copyright holders. This is like Delta Airlines going to congress and asking them to pass a law to force their pilots and flight attendants into accepting an 85% pay cut. We don’t do this in this country. Screw these guys.
So every day this week we are gonna highlight something that we find particularly offensive about Pandora and this bill.
Tim’s Sophomore Slump. New Bill Sucks Old Bill Was Better.
We just found this old blog post from Tim Westergren founder of Pandora.
July 7, 2009
Important update on royalties
For more than two years now I have been eagerly anticipating the day when I could finally write these words: the royalty crisis is over!
Webcasters, artists, and record labels have reached a resolution to the calamitous Internet radio royalty ruling of 2007. Pandora is finally on safe ground with a long-term agreement for survivable royalty rates. This ensures that Pandora will continue streaming music for many years to come!
Not only that in this post Tim reveals that he is supporting HR848 the Radio Fairness Act, which would have closed the loophole that exempts terrestrial radio from performance royalties. See it would make all forms of radio pay royalties to performers.
The system as it stands today remains fundamentally unfair both to Internet radio services like Pandora, which pay higher royalties than other forms of radio, and to musical artists, who receive no compensation at all when their music is played on AM/FM radio. We, along with the artists whose music we play, strongly support the establishment of a level playing field, a truly fair system, as articulated in a new bill called the Performance Rights Act (H.R. 848).
But now Tim has sold out. Now he’s saying the opposite. He’s going for the cash and mainstream radio airplay. Or something like that. Now his new bill the Internet Radio Fairness Act would fire the Copyright Royalty Judges and replace them with a Kangaroo Court. Now Sophomore Slump Tim wants to slash artist’s royalties. As Tim is a musician there is really only one reasonable response: Sell Out!