by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
The cynically misnamed "Performance Rights" legislation will not benefit performers. It will extract a premium from radio broadcasters, killing some, and transforming others for the worse. It will create another piece of "intellectual property" which the recording industry is poised to benefit from at the expense of artists, radio broadcasters and the public, and legaiize payola. And once the performance rights toll booth is established in broadcast radio, it can and will be deployed elsewhere. HR 848 is bad news for broadcasters, bad news for artists, and bad news for almost everybody.