Broadcast & Satellite

Our President On Performance Royalties

From the official White House transcript:

QUESTION: Mr. President, music is one of our largest exports the country has. Currently, every country in the world — except China, Iran, North Korea, Rwanda and the United States — pay a statutory royalty to the performing artists for radio and television air play. Would your administration consider changing our laws to align it with the rest of the world?

HitsTHE PRESIDENT: Help. (Laughter.) Maybe you’ve never had a President say this — I have, like, no earthly idea what you’re talking about. (Laughter and applause.) Sounds like we’re keeping interesting company, you know? (Laughter.)

Look, I’ll give you the old classic: contact my office, will you? (Laughter.) I really don’t — I’m totally out of my lane. I like listening to country music, if that helps. (Laughter.)

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  1. That’s pretty funny, but I don’t really blame him. He’s got other things on his mind. I would say finding a way to get out of the Iraq war and the like is a bit more important the changes to copyright law at this point in time.

  2. I don’t know about that, actually. The trade deficit is so big that the only way the country is staying solvent is by literally printing money, and this administration has made it clear that they place their hope on “information exports” – films, music, IT. So given this is one of the key areas of his economic strategy, I’d say he should be able to answer the damn question.

  3. I don’t find anything about this amusing. He seems to have plenty of time to think of other things than finding a way out of Iraq, for example he put plenty of time into thinking about amending the constitution to discriminate against gays in banning Gay marriage and vetoing a bill that would have allowed embryonic stem cell research that could actually help people..I can go on and on. So to say that he is only thinking of Iraq is a big stretch. Thinking of his next vacation is more like it. Maybe he can finish reading My Pet Goat.
    January 20, 2009

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