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free103point9 Newsroom has moved to http://free103point9.wordpress.com/as of March 18, 2010 A blog for radio artists with transmission art news, open calls, microradio news, and discussion of issues about radio art, creative use of radio, and radio technologies. free103point9 announcements are also included here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bush on performance royalties: "I have, like, no earthly idea what you're talking about"

From Eliot Van Buskirk in Wired:
In the US, television and terrestrial radio stations don't have to pay statutory royalties to artists and labels, the way net radio, satellite, and cable stations do.

Last Thursday, July 19th -- the same day SoundExchange and webcasters met with Congress to try to hash out fair royalty rates for webcasters -- President George W. Bush indicated to attendees of a speech at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, that he hadn't exactly been following those proceedings.

From an official press release from Bush's Press Secretary:

Question: Mr. President, music is one of our largest exports the country has. Currently, every country in the world -- except China, Iran, North Korea, Rwanda and the United States -- pay a statutory royalty to the performing artists for radio and television air play. Would your administration consider changing our laws to align it with the rest of the world?

The President: Help. (Laughter.) Maybe you've never had a President say this -- I have, like, no earthly idea what you're talking about. (Laughter and applause.) Sounds like we're keeping interesting company, you know? (Laughter.)

Look, I'll give you the old classic: contact my office, will you? (Laughter.) I really don't -- I'm totally out of my lane. I like listening to country music, if that helps. (Laughter.)

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