The Best Take Yet on Pandora's Decision to Buy an FM Station
I study each move closely so, with each day, I know the story better than the back of my hand. But, let's face it, I can't dig too much into the minutia of the legal posturing between Pandora and ASCAP or Pandora and BMI or the ins and outs of The Internet Radio Fairness Act or The Copyright Royalty Board for fear of putting my enormous (snark, snark) audience to sleep.
Plus, why should we ( me and you ) have to concern ourselves with this inane fight? It's the type of pissing contest that deserves about as much attention as contract negotiations between a sports franchise and their superstar holdout. Sports fan just want to watch sports. And music fans just want to experience, see, listen to and interact with music and musicians.
That experience would be a heck of a lot richer if sanity would prevail throughout the music industry, Internet radio, broadcast radio and SiriusXM
Folks on both sides of the issue will call my one-size-fits-all solution to the royalty mess "too simple" or "not possible," but that's just another way of saying we do not have the will or we're too afraid of what real change might look like . Which is just code for we can't swallow our pride, set aside our egos and work together for the better of the industry at the expense of our perceived self-interest.
But that aside, what will all of these disparate lawsuits accomplish other than making an already confusing situation even more scattered and chaotic?
One thing is certain -- the system is busted.
In the best explanation we have seen yet for Why Internet Radio Royalties Led Pandora to Buy an FM Radio Station , Jodie Griffin of Public Knowledge first draws the distinction between the two types of royalties so many are obsessing over:
The real reason for Pandora's purchase of an FM radio station is Pandora's royalty rate for musical compositions on its internet radio service. Note: this is a separate legal issue from the licensing Pandora pays for its use of sound recordings. The underlying musical composition gets its own copyright, and must be licensed in addition to the sound recording rights.
It's important to point that out from time to time, the distinction between the two different types of royalties. Just like it's important to articulate the difference between the compulsory rate Pandora chooses to pay for the use of sound recordings vs. the direct licensing deals services such as Spotify go with.
I mean I was arguing with a guy the other day who actually publishes articles on this topic and it became clear he had no clue whatsoever as it pertains to these important nuances. A basic understanding of facts you really have to have before getting into the opinion business.