Thursday, May 14, 2009

Censorship 2009: H.R.4789 The Performance Rights Act

Disclaimer
The views expressed below are those of the author and none other. Should you disagree, that is your right as it is my right to express opinion freely to those that choose to listen. The view is not intended to cause a stir in the community against an person or entity. Continue at your own risk as I use the Constitution in my favor.

The Congress of the United States and other Civil groups for years have been working to tightly regulate mainstream radio, television, movies and other forms of artistic expression. The goal in mind is one that is noble and follows moral standards of Christianity. As a proud Christian I have supported most of the legislation enacted by Government Officials that call on a tough moral not political decisions for the good of the Nation.

Yes. I support:
Pro Choice
Gay Marriage
Death Penalty
Torture of Terrorist

The Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are both are great organizations that protect (and regulate) artist and freedom of expression throughout the world. Both these groups are funded by the artist and the respective companies that distribute the various forms of media to the consumer.

As a '70s baby I had the privilege of being brought up during original RAP, the Playboy & Hustler boom, Satanic Heavy Metal, Sex in advertising and Soulful sultry provocative sounds of artists like Teddy, Marvin and Eddie. All of which I could sample for free to determine it was for me.

In the early '90s as original RAP music became HIP-HOP and the artist entering the game began to tell different stories about their experiences. HIP-HOP expressions were more in your face than the soft undertones of original RAP which led to an uproar all across the Nation. And then without saying gangsta RAP emerged. This uproar was charged with several motives by those who believed such expressions were not appropriate for public display outside of the ghetto's of America.

You do remember ICE T before CSI: Special Victims Unit and who could forget FLAVA FLAV before the Flavor of Love.

Luckily after several years of this debate the RIAA and MPAA along with the FCC defined laws that didn't suppress the artist expressions, yet they simply regulated promotions of the artist work. This led to artist with controversial expressions to be more encouraged to make a radio cut and an album cut so that their music would still be played on mainstream radio to attract attention to the artist and not diminish record company marketing of the artist. I like to refer to these acts as a small form of censorship that has never been widely accepted by the politicians or the “original suburbanites”. The expectation was that Hip-hop would be outlawed.

Just because EAZY-E had a problem with the POLICE and Dre liked to talk about The Chronic...



My own Mother was in on the conspiracy too: I wasn't allowed to go see one of the greatest concerts in the world as a teen...RUN DMC 1986 “Raising Hell Tour" .... lmao now at how blind she was then! All I do is raise Hell and love to “Walk This Way”....


The standards mentioned above have become more widespread over the years affecting multiple industries more so than ever. Television shows now are under great scrutiny to be as vanilla as possible, News Commentary is not nearly as free and open (unless you are on the FOX NEWS Network or Roland Martin) even video games are subjected to intense scrutiny. And now we have a resurgence from the “Old Skool” to get radio in line with the other industries that have been scrubbed for “the good of humanity” (loud sneeze).


H.R.4789 The Performance Rights Act is some cocky mani bull crap that has evolved from the whines of record companies and folks who have forgotten about '69 Woodstock Festival. So, over the last dozen or so years there comes another premise....GREED!

Lets be real for a moment....

Legislation like this stems from issues surrounding piracy and declining profits for the music and film recording industry. The ultimate effect will be music censorship and the demise of broadcast radio.

A Conspiracy Theory:
Radio stations make money from local and national advertisers; the radio stations pay operating expenses; then stations pay record companies to play artists music; then stations get more selective of channel line ups to maximize the Nielsen ratings; local and controversial artist don't get played or signed by record companies for fear of lack of interest; local artist revert to selling music out of trunk; consumer keep hearing same music year after year on radio because its proven.....have I lost you yet?

Should this legislation become law then I predict that radio as we know it will change and many will be standing going what happened...except for the satellite radio providers who stand to make a killing from the demise of broadcast radio.


Check out the following articles and form your own opinion:
http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/moving_america_news/9322
http://www.nuvo.net/music/article/rethinking-radios-pay-play
http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/02/new-radio-pay-to-play-bills-pit-riaa-against-broadcasters.ars
http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2009-02-24-pay-to-play_N.htm
http://www.audiographics.com/agd/051309-1.htm
http://www.radioink.com/Article.asp?id=1321633&spid=24698#Scene_1
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h4789/show



I expect that if this legislation and the lobbyist get through both the House and Senate that a VETO will be hammered down by President Obama. In addition we '70 – '92 babies who made the historic change this past November will remember these conditions and persons listed below at election time:

H.R.4789 The Performance Rights Act purpose is to provide parity in radio performance rights under title 17, United States Code, and for other purposes.

Performance Rights Act - Amends federal copyright law to:
(1) grant performers of sound recordings equal rights to compensation from terrestrial broadcasters;
(2) establish a flat annual fee in lieu of payment of royalties for individual terrestrial broadcast stations with gross revenues of less than $1.25 million and for non-commercial, public broadcast stations;
(3) grant an exemption from royalty payments for broadcasts of religious services and for incidental uses of musical sound recordings; and
(4) grant terrestrial broadcast stations that make limited feature uses of sound recordings a per program license option.

Provides that nothing in this Act shall adversely affect the public performance rights or royalties payable to songwriters or copyright owners of musical works.


The following sponsor this proposed legislation:
Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28]
Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R, TN-7]
Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9]
Rep. John Conyers [D, MI-14]
Rep. Anna Eshoo [D, CA-14]
Rep. Kay Granger [R, TX-12]
Rep. Jane Harman [D, CA-36]
Rep. Paul Hodes [D, NH-2]
Rep. Jay Inslee [D, WA-1]
Rep. Darrell Issa [R, CA-49]
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18]
Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4]
Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-8]
Rep. Linda Sánchez [D, CA-39]
Rep. Adam Schiff [D, CA-29]
Rep. John Shadegg [R, AZ-3]
Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27]
Rep. Louise Slaughter [D, NY-28]
Rep. Edolphus Towns [D, NY-10]
Rep. Zach Wamp [R, TN-3]
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20]
Rep. Anthony Weiner [D, NY-9]
Rep. Robert Wexler [D, FL-19]