In case there was any doubt about whose side the RIAA is on, this article clears things up. The public perception they would like to create is that the RIAA is busy fighting for the artists, by suing those artists’ biggest fans.
But now the RIAA is arguing that the artists get paid too much. I mean, getting 8 whole percent of the sale price of a 99 cent digital download, DAMN those artists are greedy. What do they think they do, write, perform, and create the product we’re selling or what?
According to papers filed by the RIAA at the Copyright Royalty Board, the labels want the board to reduce the rate to 8% of wholesale revenue. The current rate is about 9 cents per song, but it often is lowered in negotiations with the record companies. That money usually is split 50-50 between the publisher and the songwriter.
So yeah, that 8 per cent royalty rate is actually split between the artist and the publisher. So in actuality, the artists only see 4 percent.
It gets better. They also want to ELIMINATE royalty payments for streaming audio. This is when you click on a link on a webpage somewhere, and the music starts playing on your computer without you having to save a file or download. The RIAA is arguing that this does not constitute a “mechanical” royalty, which is paid whenever someone buys a copy of a song. The fact that streaming technology necessitates transferring a copy of the song from the server to the listener’s computer seems to elude the RIAA.
Yet another example of how the RIAA misunderstands the digital age, and its application to outdated business models. Their business model is doomed, and they know it. For 70 years, the RIAA has been nothing more than the gatekeepers between artist and fan, and now there is new technology that makes that position completely moot and irrelevant.
So rather than adapt to the new reality, they grip ever tighter to the old paradigm, to the point where they are suing their best customers and ripping off their artists.
Good plan. Uh-huh. That’ll work.