The Future of Music Coalition, an artists’ rights group, is accusing Clear Channel Communications of forcing musicians to give up their digital copyrights in order to get the airplay that the broadcaster is required to give under the payola consent decree.
The Coalition claims that Clear Channel is forcing independent musicians to sign a contract that gives up the artists’ right to a performance fee when their music is broadcast over the Web.
This is outrageous,” Coalition Executive Director Jenny Toomey said, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Esq. “This is like the fox getting caught in the henhouse a second time and arguing that he shouldn’t get in trouble because he was leaving the hens alone. He was just eating all their eggs.”
Clear Channel tells a different story:
Michele Clarke, according to the Reporter. “The artists are in complete control of their musical work. They control whether they just want it considered for broadcast over the air, whether they want it considered for streaming online, whether they want it to be available for download or all three, and (most importantly) they have the right to terminate their license at any time upon notice to us.”
In March, the Copyright Royalty Board voted to increase the rates that Webcasters must pay each time a song is played, and the stiff increase has been a hot button issue among Webcasters ever since.Â (FMQB)