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November 30, 2007

Artistic Types Meet The Laffer Curve [chad]

Want to turn a bunch of unwashed grunge band wannabees and indie radio hotshots into supporters of supply side theory? It's simple enough just just raise the royalty rates on songs played on internet radio by about 300%. Suddenly when the shoe is on the other [stinky] foot, people who have disdained the laffer curve and supply side economics as only helping make the rich richer when applied to tax cuts are full on supporters of its miraculous economic power to increase revenues by keeping prices lower.

For that reason, an arcane but whopping fee increase for radio stations broadcasting over the Internet ought to give music lovers here and everywhere pause. And it ought to be tossed out in negotiations under way between the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which pays most public radio station royalties, and the group representing record labels and performers. The Copyright Royalty Board, an arm of the U.S. Library of Congress, announced last March an increase in royalties of 300 to 1,200 percent — fees Internet radio providers owe performers. What were they thinking?

Such figures could put high-quality Internet stations out of business. The losers would be the listeners who could no longer enjoy such wide variety of formats. What is more democratic than the ability to listen to new and different music over the Internet?

The other losers would be the performers who supposedly benefit from such high rates. Fewer stations playing the music means fewer royalties and less exposure for performers.

Seattle Times

Funny how that works.

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posted by xgenghisx at 11:13 AM

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