We know that David Lowery’s post here at the Trichordist has re-ignited the debate over Pandora’s latest attempt to reduce royalty rates to songwriters, but David is not alone. During the last attempt by Pandora to screw songwriters and musicians we saw a number of artists speak out, amongst them was respected songwriter, musician and producer Jimmy Jam who testified on Capital Hill.
Here’s a look at some of the other songwriters and artists speaking out from different perspectives.
Songwriter Ellen Shipley in Digitial Music News, “My Song Was Played 3.1 Million Times on Pandora. My Check Was $39…”
It is interesting and very disturbing that no one is addressing the SONGWRITER’s situation in this Pandora debacle.
Pandora wishes to REDUCE the amount of royalties that songwriters have already seen CUT in 2005. Let me give you an example of what Pandora is paying in royalties to SONGWRITERS–not the performers, but the people who write the songs–the foundation of the music world—
PANDORA —-“Heaven Is A Place On Earth” (co-written)
accounting period for 3 months—–3,112,300 streams
My Pandora royalty ……………..$39.61
Songwriter, Musician and Indie Label owner Blake Morgan in The Huffington Post, “Tim Westergren Emails Underscore Tension Between Pandora, Artists.”
The AFL-CIO, NAACP, Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union, SoundExchange, and others all oppose this bill, and the supposition that Pandora should pay less to artists and songwriters in order to accomplish higher profitability.
The Songwriters and Musicians of the band Pink Floyd in USA TODAY, “Pink Floyd: Pandora’s Internet radio royalty ripoff.”
Of course, this letter doesn’t say anything about an 85% artist pay cut. That would probably turn off most musicians who might consider signing on. All it says about royalties is “We are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists.” And the only hint of Pandora’s real agenda is the innocent sounding line “We are also fervent supporters of internet radio and want more than anything for it to grow.” The petition doesn’t mention that Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists’ paychecks.
Even former Pandora employee (and Camper Van Beethoven band member) Jonathan Segel has written about the situation on his blog, “Pandora Groupthink. (look it up).”
Several of my former workmates at Pandora seem to be drinking the Kool Aid. I’m seeing posts claiming that David Lowery and Pink Floyd are talking ‘trash’. Yes, I worked at Pandora. You can read all about that here. I also play in a band with David Lowery, it’s called Camper Van Beethoven (not the band with the song in question here.) He and I don’t necessarily agree on everything, but I’m totally backing him up on this one.
Let us also not forget that over 125 artists signed a letter to Congress opposing these rate cuts. Here they are again.