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Martha Reeves Latest Artist to Criticize Pandora

More and more artists are coming out against the current campaign by Pandora to reduce the rates paid to artists and songwriters for the streaming of their music.

In an op-ed published on MSNBC's The Grio, Martha Reeves spoke about the progress that has been made in recent years to standardize the payments across all types of media and the threat from Pandora's current campaign.
Now, Pandora itself could unravel this progress by pushing legislation that would slash the rates they pay to performers by 85 percent. This same legislation failed in the last Congress, but Pandora wants to tryagain, this time offering performers a larger share of the reduced royalties. But a larger share of leftovers would leave us with crumbs; even the most generous version of Pandora’s offer would cut performers’ pay by 70 percent.

Tim Westergren argues that current performance royalty law is “hampering innovation.” Don’t get me wrong, I think Pandora and other digital music services are playing a vital role in transforming radio. As I understand it, there are thousands of services out there. But what about the musical innovators that make Pandora worth listening to? Should they take a massive pay cut so software developers can innovate?

After all, artists and musicians invest a lifetime in their craft and take risks bigger than any tech start-up, with little hope to benefit from the profits generated by these companies.
Musicians should be paid a fair value for their work and all digital services should play by the same rules. These are just common sense ideas, and once Congress adopts them as law, future generations will wonder why we ever struggled over them. But that’s why we must keep struggling – until justice is done.
To see the entire op-ed, see The Grio.