A panel on copyright issues at NARM featured many of the usual arguments, as both sides disagreed on how to best monetize free content and make sure royalty rates are equitable.
On one hand, new media folks like the Digital Media Association’s Jonathan Potter and the Consumer Electronics Association’s Michael Petricone pointed out that the free music genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Potter stated that the price of music is ultimately determined by the customers, and that labels needed to come up with more creative ways to monetize content. Petricone then pointed out that people have made millions competing with free content, from people who pay for Starbucks rather than drinking office coffee to people who drink bottled water rather than tap water.
Cary Sherman of the RIAA disputed this notion but focused most of his ire on terrestrial radio companies, who he described as “getting away with murder.” Sherman raised the point that the United States is one of the only countries in the world that does not pay royalties to artists for terrestrial airplay, and called for the playing field to be leveled.