Clueless Spotify Defender Illustrates Tech Ignorance about Federal Cap On Songwriter Pay

Last night I posted this

It has since gone viral.   It has also produced a remarkable display of ignorance on the part of many defending Spotify.

Not to single out this one person but it illustrates how little tech types know about the compulsory licenses and government set pricing schemes that subsidize these platforms.

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Nice.  A little classic brogrammer master-of-the-universe arrogance thrown in.  I guess those songs just magically appear on those platforms.

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Except that there is no supply and demand for songs.  In order to “spur innovation” the federal government provided a compulsory license that allows streaming services to use our songs at a below market rate fixed by the Copyright Royalty Board.  You can’t even get your songs off these services.  Well that’s not always true.   If you threaten to file a class action lawsuit for failing to pay the already abysmal royalty rate (among other things) then they will take your songs off the service.  See below:

Amidst Serious Accusations, Spotify Removes Victory Records’ Catalog

But the ignorance continues.

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ALL the platforms mentioned, MTV, Radio and Labels also enjoy either a federal compulsory license or below market rates set by a single federal judge (see ASCAP/BMI rate court).   Songwriters are forced by the federal government to subsidize all of these platforms since 1909, when the federal government mandated songwriters license their songs for mechanical reproduction at 2 cents a copy to “spur innovation”  of record labels and player piano rolls.

Every one of these supposedly “innovative” platforms is essentially suckling at the breast of the federal government.

So lets have a poll




3 thoughts on “Clueless Spotify Defender Illustrates Tech Ignorance about Federal Cap On Songwriter Pay

  1. What other industry is there that is controlled, absolutely, by the federal government? How is that even legal? They need to be sued, en banc, for deliberately destroying the free market/free agent environment of American musicians.

    1. “That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”
      — Virginia Declaration of Rights[17]

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