NPR has joined with a host of broadcasting and tech behemoths to lobby congress for lower royalties for artists. Well they don’t quite come out and say that, there is a wishy washy statement about “affordability” but coalition partners Pandora, NAB, Google, Clear Channel have relentlessly lobbied for lower rates for artists and songwriters. Remember these are the same companies that lobbied to slash performer rates with the Orwellian named “Internet Radio Fairness Act.” The act would have created “fairness” by slashing performers royalties up to 85%. It’s not our fault that Silicon Valley firms can’t make a profit giving our music away for free while sucking out 1/2 billion dollars in executive stock compensation! (Try selling music like Apple they don’t seem to be having any profit problems).
But I digress…
We are puzzled as to why NPR joined this fight.
1) Public broadcasting stations already enjoy lower royalty rates.
2) Artist’s routinely and willingly support NPR stations by giving them rights to recordings in perpetuity. See NPR performance Contract.
3) Most of NPR’s programming expenses are in it’s executive salaries and non-musical programming. Further reducing artists royalties would make little difference.
4) Most of the financial benefits of royalty reductions would go to NPR’s corporate competitors.
5) Taxpayers give over $400 million a year to support public broadcasting.
What gives NPR? Why the corporate sell-out?