Saturday, 4 April 2009

An offer they couldn't refuse?

Another rights collection agency's extortion racket hit a bump in the road earlier this week when YouTube blocked German access to thousands music videos less than a month after blocking almost all "premium" content in the UK.

Neither the newly formed Featured Artists Coalition nor rabid 'psycho-leftie' Billy Bragg - a man who's political rhetoric makes Chairman Mao look like a Lib-Dem - wasted any time at all in jumping on the bandwagon and condemning Google for "use of its near-monopoly to dictate terms to PRS for Music".

Something which these 'collection agencies' have been doing to the rest of us since long before the Mountain View Funny-Farm ever existed.

While I like to see people defying bullies and extortionists like the PRS, this is more like rival organised crime families in twenties America fighting a turf war for control of the rackets - alcohol, gambling, prostitution, extortion, etc.

But what really disgusts me is the actions of the Featured Artists Coalition. These are the very same people who have spent years screaming about how they're being ripped off by record labels and collection agencies, demanding a bigger slice of the income from sales and licensing, demanding more control over their own work.

I've always agreed with them in the past. They are being ripped off. They should have a bigger slice of the income and more control over their own work.

But now they're screaming in support of the collection agencies. One of whom is notorious for attacking schools, charity events, local businesses and even it's own members, preventing them from performing their own work because the venue had not purchased a license from the PRS.

Perhaps someone made them an offer they couldn't refuse...

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