It's time AM and FM radio broadcasters started paying for the music they play, a group of music industry types has decided. They're lobbying Congress to amend the federal law that has exempted terrestrial radio from paying artists' royalties for nearly a century, Business Week reports.
Until the advent of satellite and web radio, the recording industry considered radio play a necessary marketing expense. But now the AM and FM exposure is less valuable, and it's hard to argue that terrestrial radio deserves special treatment. The record industry could use the cash: sales of CDs and digital downloads fell 6.2% last year. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to address the issue some time this month.