RIAA Wants to Cut Artist Royalties to 9%, Apple Wants Them at 4%, Artists Just Want to Eat

The RIAA always claims that its looking out for the livelihood of artists when it sues the hell out of alleged pirates, but in reality it's really fighting to keep record industry executives rich by defending an outdated and unsustainable business model. While before the PR team at least made an attempt to make it seem like artists were priority #1, they seem to have given up: the RIAA is now trying to cut down artist's royalties on digital downloads.

Yes, the RIAA doesn't think the record companies are making enough and that musicians are clearly making too much. I mean, they get 13% now. Like they deserve 13% for writing and creating the music that people are paying for. Hogwash! Someone had to, you know, encode it. That's worth at least 40%. And hey, these shoes don't shine themselves! So they're pushing to get that rate cut down to a shameful 9%, giving artists even less of a slice of the pie than before.

Of course, Apple, Napster and other large online retailers make the RIAA look like a charity in comparison, with Apple pushing to cut the royalty rate down to an insulting 4%. Yes, Apple wants artists to get a 4% of wholesale royalty rate. Really looking out for those artists, aren't you Steve?

If there was ever a time for a band to try going completely independent, this is it. Why give over 90% of your income away to greedy sleazebags when you can sell your music online without the middleman? This industry needs to be burned to the ground and built back up again; it's broken and it seems less and less likely that it'll be able to be fixed. [Hollywood Reporter via Slashdot]