Performers (and NAB) Should Stand With @WJCU887 Music Director Karoline Kramer-Gould

This has really been a remarkable couple of weeks for artists’ rights as the campaign to pay performers for terrestrial broadcast has just received its first public support from a radio station music director.  The courageous Karoline Kramer-Gould the MD for Cleveland AAA tastemaker station WJCU has publicly endorsed a terrestrial royalty for performers.  In a HuffPo interview she says this:

“To imply that artists should be willing to work for free invalidates everything about them and what they have spent years working on. I would never ask any other skilled professional to work for free and it disgusts me that the radio industry finds it acceptable. Not only that, but the fact that some musicians find it okay makes me think of Stockholm Syndrome. It horrifies me that so many people have been brainwashed to believe it’s acceptable–it not only lessens their hard work but also lessens them as human beings.”

Wow.  That says it all.  Tweet at Karoline to show your support: ‏@RadioCleveKKG 

The debate over a terrestrial radio royalty has usually pitted artists against radio and that’s a shame because it doesn’t really have to be this way.  After all radio stations rely on the constant supply of (relatively cheap) content that performers create.  It’s not in the interest of radio to deprive performers of revenues to create music. But often overlooked is the fact the NAB members enjoy significant protections as copyright holders.   If performers don’t have a “right” in the public performance of their sound recordings, might congress decide NAB members have no exclusive right in the public performance of their broadcasts? If that’s the case what’s to stop unlicensed streaming sites from re-broadcasting their signals?

See that’s the thing about rights. You may not like them when they belong to others, but if you don’t support the rights of your “suppliers,” you end up undermining your own.


2 thoughts on “Performers (and NAB) Should Stand With @WJCU887 Music Director Karoline Kramer-Gould

  1. An argument has been made that it is acceptable to not pay recording artists because terrestrial air play has promotional value. It has been said that air play has benefited recording artists for that reason and there was no need for further compensation. However, that promotional value has largely been derived from record sales. But now that music is widely available for free due the Safe Harbor of the DMCA, there is no need for people to buy and record sales are clearly absent. And we know that the streaming royalties have not made up for the loss or record sales. So that promotional value is largely a thing of the past.

    1. exactly but a point the NAB forgets is that they essentially need a performance right to protect others from hijacking their on air streams and rebroadcasting them on the web. This is especially the case with “the big dogs” of the NAB: Network television stations. Their business model is dependent on this public performance protection. Undermining that for recording artists will eventually come back and kill their revenue model.

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