Friday, May 22, 2009

Leron Rogers gives us the truth on the H.R. 848 bill. Is it fair to radio stations to pay performers when their music is played??

Leron Rogers, partner of Hewitt & Rogers at his Atlata office, gives us the business of this business

When I first heard about the H.R. 848 bill being passed I was perplexed. I didn't understand why an artist should get paid to have their song played on public radio when really the radio did them a favor in a sense by giving artists, some otherwise unknown, free publicity. But for over 50 years the H.R. 848 has been in and out of discussion in the music industry. Should performers get paid? Why and why not? What does that mean money wise and etc. Well finally the pioneers for the financial benefit of the artists such as Q Parker (formerly of 112 & client of Leron Rogers) lobbied enough and H.R. 848 came to pass. I took my questions to 9 year attorney of Atlanta's Hewitt & Rogers, Leron Rogers to better understand what this bill passing would mean for radio stations, performers and the general public...US! Looks like i was very uneducated on the matter from the knowledge i received from Mr.Rogers. I invite you to take a listen to the audio attached here to fully understand how this benefits the artists who up until this act were not getting a dime off of public radio play meaning no royalties. Satellite radio play does pay the artists. But first some facts:

It pays to be a writer: Writers already get paid for songs played on the radio (no wonder if pays to not only perform but write your own music!)

Money talks: If a smaller radio station makes less than $100k a year, the flat fee the station has to pay out to artist for their music is $500/yr which is little more than $40 a month!

So is V103, Star 94 and other radio stations we love going to start charging us to listen: NO! This affects the listener not a bit. The only radio that remains to be paid for is satellite via separate subscription and choice.

Why is this still a battle: Some black radio stations are complaining that that this is going to shut them down however what about the black artists that are not currently getting paid for providing content that keeps most stations alive? In a day and age where music sales have dramatically changed, I say these artists could use this extra money which will not break the bank if you look at the figure example above.

Educate yourself: For more information and to get involved beyond this appreciated information from Counselor Leron Rogers, who is part of People you Need to Know, Who's Who, and frequently is called upon to speak on entertainment and legal related panels, you can attend Atlanta's first town hall meeting regarding the performers royalties on June 25th this summer. Check out:

Thank you for your time. Feel free to share your thoughts, no matter what side you're on regarding this hot topic! I'd also like to thank Leron Rogers again for his time & knowledge as well as the wonderful Cherry Banez (PR) for the great opportunity.

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  1. Black radio stations? Tanned radio stations ! Oh maybe you wanna mean black proud , i'm an italianyankee (tanned)and i still remember bourbon street (new orleans)and i don't like fast rap music with bad messages....U 2?greetings from italy ortona (abruzzo)!mauro uccelli (Moore Birds)

  2. This is about more than black stations. It is about independent and college radio too. We should all be fighting this legislation.
    I suggest you volunteer at one of these stations for a month to get an idea of what an extra $1000/year, in addition to the fees they already pay, will do to their strapped budgets.
    The hardest-hit stations will be small commercial, and especially non-commercial, listener-supported stations.
    You state that listeners won't have to pay even after the fees are assessed, as if to placate your audience into believing that this won't affect them.
    Who do you think funds non-commercial radio, like college and public stations? Our listeners! But times are tough. Thank heavens SOME people pay, or nobody would be playing music by the thousands of independent, cutting-edge, up-and-coming, unsponsored, etc, artists out there, because none of these stations would exist.
    Furthermore, this is a government-imposed tax that will fund a private industry, an industry of sleazy lawyers who are only fighting to get any artists royalties because they make such a huge profit doing so. They aren't interested in the small artists getting any more money, and that is mostly who gets played on college & independent radio.
    If small-time artists and musicians think this bill will help them, they're dead wrong. It will most likely result in their music NOT being played AT ALL, in favor of big-money major-label acts whose presence on the playlist guarantees more ad sales in the case of commercial stations, and in the case of non-commercial stations, the indie artist's bread and butter, many of them will have to switch to talk or sell their licences rather than pay yet another fee they can't afford.
    I strongly recommend you get some more insight from the remaining low-power broadcasters out there.

  3. @Mauro
    Thank you.

    GREAT feedback. I've heard this side of the story too more recently. There seem to be pros and cons on both ends. I may go deeper to explore the smaller stations & get that needed information to balance out the information & get all truths on the table. From what i have gathered thus far..this is a GREAT thing for artists. Thanks for sharing your comment & insights.


That's what I have to say. So what do YOU think? I thrive on conversation and insight. Agree or disagree or digress and leave a comment and express thyself..