Copyright, on misleading propaganda about

Fascinating. Someone asked me some questions about webcasting, and I found this gem of misleading information on an RIAA page:

The lack of a broad sound recording performance right that applies to US terrestrial broadcasts is an historical accident. In almost every other country broadcasters pay for their use of the sound recordings upon which their business is based. For decades, the US recording industry fought unsuccessfully to change this anomaly while broadcasters built very profitable businesses on the creative works of artists and record companies. The broadcasters were simply too strong on Capitol Hill.

However, with the birth of digital transmission technology, Congress understood the importance of establishing a sound recording performance right for digital transmissions, and did so in 1995 with the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act (“DPRA”). In doing so, Congress “grandfathered” the old world of terrestrial broadcasting, but required everyone (including broadcasters) operating in the new world of digital transmissions to pay their fair share for using copyrighted sound recordings in their business.


I love the terminology here. “An historical accident.” “Congress understood.” “Fair share.” Translated, this means that in the past, Congress understood the point of copyright much better than they have in the more recent past.

The RIAA is an advocacy group. We know that. But they could do a better job of considering and acknowledging other perspectives.

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