Pink Floyd's three surviving members have reunited to pen an op-ed for USA Today accusing Pandora of trying to rip off artists over royalties from online radio. "It's a matter of principle for us," Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason wrote.
The Internet radio service is currently asking Congress to cut musicians' pay for digital radio plays by 85 percent. While a similar campaign failed last year – thanks in part to a letter signed by more than 125 musicians including Pink Floyd, Billy Joel and Rihanna – this time around Pandora is reaching out to artists and asking them to sign a letter of support for Internet radio. But according to the members of Pink Floyd, the letter does not mention the massive royalty cut, and instead reads: "We are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists."
"Fine print is one thing," Waters, Gilmour and Mason write. "But a musician could read this 'letter of support' a dozen times and hold it up to a funhouse mirror for good measure without realizing she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora's bottom line."
The trio went on to chide Pandora for complaining about how much it pays for royalties, pointing out the service's impressive growth in the past two years – their IPO raised $235 million and they've doubled their number of listeners – and added, "a business that exists to deliver music can't really complain that its biggest cost is music."
The members of Pink Floyd closed their piece by saying there is room for compromise and that they hoped Pandora and artists could work together to find common ground on the royalty issue (including finding an end to AM/FM radio's exemption for such fees). "But," they conclude, "tricking artists into signing a confusing petition without explaining what they are really being asked to support only poisons the well."
“and that they hoped Pandora and artists could work together to find common ground on the royalty issue
(including finding an end to AM/FM radio's exemption for such fees”
OK, terrestrial radio pays ZERO and Pandora roughly half a cent for each song that is played, lets “work together to find a common ground” how about in the middle? About 25% of a cent for each song played and now Pandora has just cut its content cost in half.
Now Roger, David and Nick, put down the joint and sign the contract, LOL
Their issue is that Pandora is being dishonest and underhanded in it's attempts to cut their royalty rates. Pandora is hypocritical in saying "we are fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists" while at the same time trying every angle they can to cut the amount they pay to the same artists. I'm fairly certain they would rather see AM/FM pay fees than to see Pandora also be exempt.
This sentence in particular says everything one needs to know about Pandora's "poor me" attitude:
"A business that exists to deliver music can't really complain that its biggest cost is music." And Pandora actually negotiated for LOWER royalties the last time around. I mean, seriously...just because Pandora is free doesn't mean that the artists should work for free.