Quoted: Pink Floyd blasts Pandora for ‘tricking artists’ over royalties

“Who wouldn’t want to be ‘part of a conversation’? Who doesn’t support Internet radio? What scrooge would refuse to sign such a positive, pro-music statement? … The petition doesn’t mention that Pandora is pushing the growth of its business directly at the expense of artists’ paychecks.”

Pink Floyd, on Pandora emailing musicians asking them to sign a letter of support as it tries to push through the Internet Radio Fairness Act. In an op-ed published in USA Today over the weekend, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Maso wrote that the Oakland-based Internet radio provider is “tricking artists into signing a confusing petition without explaining what they are really being asked to support” — the group says Pandora is asking artists to take an 85 percent pay cut as it seeks to reduce the royalties it has to pay. The group also says that it supports some sort of compromise between musicians and Pandora, although it seems to criticize the company for bringing up the issue in the first place: “A business that exists to deliver music can’t really complain that its biggest cost is music. You don’t hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell. Netflix pays more for movies than Pandora pays for music, but they aren’t running to Congress for a bailout.” Pandora has said the IRFA is about ending “discrimination” against Internet radio, which has to pay higher royalties for streaming songs than terrestrial radio stations do. As some artists reportedly consider pulling their songs from Pandora, there are predictions this fight could go on for years.

 

Pink Floyd performs in London in 2010. (Associated Press archives)

 

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