As you may or may not know Pandora is trying to push a bill through congress (Internet Radio Fairness Act) 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 and copyright holders. This is like Delta Airlines going to congress and asking them to pass a law to force their pilots and fuel suppliers into accepting an 85% cut. We don’t do this in this country. Screw these guys.
So every day this week we are gonna highlight something that we particularly offensive about Pandora and this bill.
Tell Congress: Don’t Slash Music Creators’ Pay
#4 The Free Market Argument Against the Pandora Sponsored Bill.
Very simply this is the ultimate in Crony Capitalism.
This is Pandora asking the U.S government to bail out a public corporation. Never mind that the bail out money is coming from artists. This is still a government mandated transfer of wealth from artists to a publicly traded silicon valley company.
And why? Cause Pandora’s business model is apparently not profitable. So what? Cut expenses, trim salaries, negotiate with your suppliers, raise prices, add more commercials. Do what your average small business owners do everyday all across America. Why does Pandora think they are so special that they get to run to congress for a handout?
If Pandora can’t make it let em fail.
Consumers and musicians have plenty of other options for streaming music. Pandora isn’t the only internet radio service you know. Let a smaller more nimble company take their place. Shit, artists could stream their own music off their own websites if they wanted. It is technically quite easy. What is the emergency here?
But perhaps the most outrageous thing about this bill from a libertarian perspective is that this is a Statutory License they are messing with. This means that artists would not be able to opt out of this. We couldn’t pull our music from Pandora even if we didn’t like the new lower royalty rates. Can you imagine if the government told you at what price and to whom you were to sell your services? Why does Pandora get to do this to performers?
Yeah so we musicians and performers are not the most sympathetic characters. We do stupid stuff and wear sunglasses inside. Some people say we get what we deserve. But still I ask you to pay attention to this for a very good reason:
If they can do this to us, they can do this to you too.