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1924 __ Radio and royalties
Comment : With Justice for All."And still they ask :" Who is going to pay for broadcasting ?" Several performers recently demanded pay for their services, their managers having refused to allow them to appear before the microphone without suitable remuneration. Certainly the radio public should pay. But how much, and how ? The tactics of the self-styled American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), in trying to force broadcasting stations to take out licenses for the privilege of putting their jazz on the air have been frequently commented upon and frequently condemned. The arguments of their counsel at meetings of the broadcasters, as well as at court proceedings, were specious, beside the point, frequently untrue. Their statements were conjecture, rather than fact. On investigation, it was found that the society did not include as much musicla talent as its high-sounding name would lead one to believe. A survey showed that among the members were only 253 out of 5,000 authors and composers. The conservative writers and publishers were not appreciably represented in their membership, and it was found that much of the most successful music of the day did not originate in this society. This is true, for instance, of such popular hits as "Three O'Clock in the Morning" and "No Bananas". Representative broadcasters ignored altogether the demands of the small but noisy band of jazz writers. As we have mentioned before, the outcome was the formation of the National Association of Broadcasters. [...] In one case, a two-year-old song was selected as a test piece. This song had been put out on phonograph records but the sale had not been large. At the time of the test, the piece was stagnant, most stores reporting practically no sales. An inventory of the records in stock was taken by an agent of the broadcasters. A short time after a good station had broadcasted this song, using an accomplished artist to "put it over", another canvass of the stores showed that "80 per cent, of the phonograph houses had sold out the record". With such a fact to go on, the broadcasters "knew" what they were talking about. A composer now sends in his song and it is exemined by well-qualified musical critics. If it passes the judges, the members of the association put i on the air. If the song is a hit, the author at once begins to receive whatever royalties on the sheet music the copyright law entitles him to. With no advertising expense of his own, he begins to reap the benefit of the radio advertising. If the song proves sufficiently popular to justify its reproduction for the phonograph and player piano, the broadcasters begin to get some return for selling the song to the public. Their contract with the author stipulates that a certain reasonable percentage of the mechanical royalties shall accrue to the Association of Broadcasters; if the song is successful, the author receives all the royalties from the sheet music sales. But he shares the royalties from the records and piano rolls, with the National Association of Broadcasters. This solution of the problem looks logical, and eminently fair to the author. He stands to lose nothing if his song doesn't "go", and if it does, his interests are identical with those of the Broadcasters' Association, so he may be sure that his song will be given as much prominence as possible. We hope the new scheme proves a success.". (In “RADIO BROADCAST”, Vol. IV, NOVEMBER, 1923, to APRIL, 1924, Garden City, N. Y., DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY, 1924, pp. 273-274.)
Urls : http://www.archive.org/stream/radiobroadcast04gardrich/%23page/272/mode/2up (last visited )

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