Administration Should Oppose Music Industry Special Interests

Royalty payments for music songwriters and publishers have hit an all-time high, yet music collectives are now seeking even higher fees for the rights to play their music.

The Performance Rights Organizations that represent copyright holders of music have tried every way to overturn the free-market consent decrees that prevent them from levering their monopoly status to extract punitive royalty rates. Now they are trying to kiss the ring of President Trump despite the fact that they supported Hillary Clinton in the election.

Music Industry

Since many in the music industry had backed the election (and re-election) of Barack Obama, higher-ups in the Justice Department made sure to pay back their campaign donations by reviewing their consent decrees. Yet, even Obama’s lax officials refused to gut them as had been requested by the likes of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and Broadcast Music Inc.

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Why? Because even these liberals know that doing so would greatly harm music consumers and up-and-coming artists at the expense of the robber baron copyright holders and recording artists.

The rest of Washington understands this too. The efforts by the music industry to change the system and force higher royalty rates was defeated by federal courts and the Department of Justice, while attempts to get legislation passed through Congress failed even to move through committee. At every turn, the music industry has been blocked from being allowed to engage in anti-competitive practices to force higher royalty rates.

Nearly every leading artist refused to perform at President Trump’s inauguration, so it’s not like Trump has an incentive to even hear them out. But in a brazen act of hypocrisy, the same representatives of the music industry who weren’t seen or heard at the inauguration have, through their lobbyists, asked the president to help them game the system for higher music royalty rates.They stated that they “look forward to working with (him)” and hope that he can help advance their special-interest priorities.

The new president already knows what they’re up to. It’s why he tweeted that, “The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!”

The White House gets these lobbyists’ game, so the administration should undoubtedly reject their request for crony benefits and let them know that they need to compete in the same free market to earn their income that everyone else does. Given the history of anti-competitive practices by the music industry, the president should remind them that the consent decrees are in place for a good reason — to protect consumers of music nationwide.

Article by Dean Chambers – Inside Sources