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.

PRIMARY WAVE CHECKS INTO
THE FOUR SEASONS
Mestel walks like a man. (10/22a)
UMG IPO SET FOR '22
And Q3 figures look good as well. (10/21a)
TOP 20: TAY'S FOLKLORIC RUN CONTINUES
A Swift return to #1. (10/21a)
REVENUE CHART: “LEMONADE” AND OCEAN SPRAY
The Rumours are true. (10/23a)
GRAMMY PREVIEW:
PHOEBE BRIDGERS
Could she be this year's left-field anointed one? (10/23a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)