T Bone Burnett Blasts Online Music Rip Offs

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Posted June 10, 2014 by Jeff Prince in Blotch
T BONE BURNETT (wikipedia photo)T BONE BURNETT (wikipedia photo)

T Bone Burnett grew up in Fort Worth, and he knows a thing or two about music.

If you don’t believe it, look at the record producer’s mantle — he’s earned 13 Grammy Awards over the years.

He’s also got a good head on his shoulder (must be that Fort Worth influence).

He recently penned a column for the LA Times about online music services such as Pandora and Sirius XM, and how they don’t always pay artists for the right to play their music.

Burnett says some companies have decided to “devalue the music of these artists for their own profit by not paying for it. In doing this, they devalue the substance of their own medium. For the last 20 years we’ve witnessed an assault on the arts by the technology community — especially when it comes to music.”

He points out that pre-1972 recordings fall under state purview, whereas music from 1972 onward is protected by federal law. Some digital music companies exploit that copyright loophole by refusing to pay royalties on early music.

“It shouldn’t take a lawsuit, or a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress last week, to make it clear that businesses that include pre-1972 recordings in the playlists they deliver to their customers should pay the creators who brought those recordings to life,” Burnett wrote. “It is wrong to laud the know-how behind a technology, or shower executives with stock options, but disregard the genius captured in a recording.”

Well said, T Bone.


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