Quantcast
"This is like the fox getting caught in the henhouse a second time and arguing that he shouldn't get in trouble because he was leaving the hens alone. He was just eating all their eggs."
—-Jenny Toomey, Future of Music Coalition on Clear Channel

INDIE ARTISTS ACCUSE RADIO
GIANT OF DIGITAL BLACKMAIL

Clear Channel Forcing Musicians to Give Up Digital Copyrights as Part of FCC Payola Pact
The Future of Music Coalition claims that Clear Channel is forcing independent musicians to sign a contract that relinquishes their rights to a performance royalty if their music is used for a webcast.

The radio giant is accused of making artists give up their digital copyrights to receive the airplay Clear Channel must give them under the payola consent decree recently agreed to governing the broadcasters’ operations.

In May, the FCC approved $12.5 million in consent decrees that settled payola allegations against four of the nation's largest radio broadcasters: Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications Corp. and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. The four admitted no wrongdoing.

The broadcasters agreed, as part of the settlement, to set aside more than 4,000 hours of airtime to local and independent artists.

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein had made the issue a touchstone.

A copy of the license agreement according to a Clear Channel-owned station in Washington, D.C., includes language saying: "You grant to Clear Channel the royalty-free nonexclusive right and license in perpetuity (unless terminated earlier by You or Clear Channel as set forth below) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, digitally perform, publicly display and distribute any sound recordings, compositions, pictures, videos, song lyrics ..."

FMC Executive Director Jenny Toomey called it  “outrageous.”

"This is like the fox getting caught in the henhouse a second time and arguing that he shouldn't get in trouble because he was leaving the hens alone. He was just eating all their eggs."

A Clear Channel spokesperson insisted "the FMC folks have it wrong."

"Clear Channel Radio has gone above and beyond to make this artist-friendly," spokeswoman Michele Clarke said. "The artists are in complete control of their musical work. They control whether they just want it considered for broadcast over the air, whether they want it considered for streaming online, whether they want it to be available for download or all three, and (most importantly) they have the right to terminate their license at any time upon notice to us."

The digital performance royalty, passed by Congress as part of the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recording Act that became effective in 1996, provides money for artists and copyright holders for songs played on the Internet, on satellite and over cable.

The royalty is split 50-50 between copyright owner, typically a label but sometimes the artists or other entities, and the performer. In March, the Copyright Royalty Board increased the rates that webcasters must pay each time a listener hears a song.

BEESE DOCKS AT WARNER U.K.
Former Island chief gets his own label. (6/16a)
1 TRENDING TOPIC: “LEVITATING” TO #1
How'd they do that? (6/15a)
SIGNS OF HITS LIST
We're reading the tea leaves. (6/15a)
REOPENING DELAY CRIPPLES LIVE BIZ
"Variant" is a scary word right now. (6/15a)
MUSIC’S HOTTEST FIRMS: GRUBMAN SHIRE MEISELAS & SACKS
Is there a lawyer in the house? (6/15a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)