While the long-standing rift between Roger Waters and the other two surviving members of Pink Floyd has prevented a true Floyd reunion, the trio banded together recently to speak out against an attempt to slash the royalty rate for online radio.
In an op-ed piece at USA Today, Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason single out Pandora for their lobbying efforts on behalf of the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which would cut the rate by 85 percent. “It’s a matter of principle for us,” they wrote, citing that the “services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses.”
And while Pink Floyd, who recently engaged in a high-profile media campaign to launch their catalog on Spotify, can likely afford the hit to their bank accounts if this legislation is passed, they recognize that most musicians are not in their position. “Nearly 90% of the artists who get a check for digital play receive less than $5,000 a year,” they added. “They cannot afford the 85 percent pay cut Pandora asked Congress to impose on the music community.”
But what upsets Pink Floyd most is that Pandora is sending letters to musicians asking them to support the act without mentioning the pay cut. “Fine print is one thing,” they continue. “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 Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012 was introduced into the House of representatives last September, but it died in committee.