delme-mp3.jpgSlashdot discussion (probably the best discission on the topic) is HERE.  Original article HERE.  Read on for quotes from the article, and links to famous musician’s personal pages where they bitch about the situation.  The record companies are not your friend — especially if you are a musician.

 Read on for more, including a funny web comic I found.

On December 1 The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the RIAA is currently petitioning the panel of federal government Copyright Royalty Judges to lower the rates paid to publishers and songwriters for use of lyrics and melodies in applications like cell phone ring tones and other digital recordings.

Yes, ringtones.  You know, where people idiotically pay $1 for a short, low-quality snippet of a song they like?  That’s a lot of money for something that is truly only worth a few cents.  Of course the record companies want to keep as much of this as possible!  It’s one of their highest profit margin offerings.

Couched in terms of apparent necessity, the RIAA’s is insisting that the real musicians be paid less so that the record companies can continue to “drive revenues.” If piracy really is devastating the recording industry and cell phone ringtones are one of the remaining highly profitable distributed mediums, should the RIAA really be trying to ensure that musicians be paid less for them while they’re already [supposedly] hurting from lost revenue on album sales?

Just to add to this, here are articles by different artists about being ripped off:

Steve Albini [negativland.com] – they made the record company $3M, and got ~$4,000 each for their troubles, making less than they would at 7-11
Courtney Love [salon.com] – she made a great speech to congress
Steve Vai [vai.com] – says musicians need legislation to protect them from unfair RIAA practices

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