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Dear NFL: F*ck You, Pay Artists

By Genevieve Burgess | Music | August 21, 2014 | Comments ()


RihannaNFL.jpg

The Super Bowl halftime show is a topic of much derision and scorn in some places, and bored shrugs in others. Barely anyone gets REALLY excited about it, and the noteworthy performances are more a pleasant surprise than an expectation at this point. The stages are ridiculous, the expectations (pyro! guest performers! children’s choirs! marching bands!) seem to increase even as the allotted time stays the same, and the NFL pays for the costs associated with the performance but doesn’t actually pay the artist themselves to perform.

Well, there’s good news! The NFL has decided that it’s going to change the way they do their halftime show! By which they apparently mean they’re going to ask artists to sign a contract forking over a portion of their tour revenue to the NFL for the privilege of playing a 15 minute set in front of a bunch of football fans and people watching “for the commercials.” The artists that have been carefully selected to consider this offer are Coldplay, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. I am sincerely hoping all of them respond to this “offer” with hysterical laughter and send the contract back with ‘FUCK YOU, PAY ME’ written in red ink across it. Because it’s not just the NFL that’s pushing the idea that artists should pay for “exposure” with their time or their actual money, and I’m getting completely fed up with the notion that exposure or appreciation is a goal in and of itself. Yes, artists need exposure. Yes, artists appreciate fans. Yes, they should still be paid to play shows and for their music. This is not a difficult concept, yet it’s one that people keep trying to work around in ways that are at best misguided and at worst downright insulting.

Since Napster blew up in the early 2000s, the music industry has been scrambling to figure out how they’re going to make money going forward. A lot of that is their own fault, as anyone who was buying CDs in the late 90s remembers the frustration of almost never being able to buy singles, and being forced to pay $20 for twelve songs, only two or three of which you actually liked. They were taking advantage of their consumers, and they deserved to be punished for not fully adapting to changing technology. But the dangerous idea that music doesn’t need to be paid for, that it is worthless in the most literal sense, has spread far beyond people downloading tracks for their own listening pleasure. Last year PJ Bloom, who selects and licenses music for shows like Glee and CSI: Miami said that he was “shocked” that TV productions still paid for music since it’s such great “exposure” for the artists and will help them get more fans. Except those fans aren’t paying for their music either, they’re listening to it through streaming services that pay fractions of a cent per play (and are fighting to pay less), on AM/FM radio (which still doesn’t pay royalties to performers in the US), or illegally downloading tracks for free. “But there’s touring!” you might be saying. Except that for a lot of small to mid-level artists, it’s hard enough getting a tour to break even, and originally touring was done to help promote album sales. Which can’t be counted on anymore. And new record deals will take a significant cut of merchandising too, a revenue stream that used to go almost 100% to artists.

This brings me to my biggest point: it’s easy to justify not paying for music when the people you point to are Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Coldplay. They have money. They’re not going to want for anything, and a few downloaded tracks here or there or a “promotional” appearance aren’t going to hurt them. But they are not the only people involved in music. This trickles down to smaller artists and venues, and if Rihanna is paying to play the Super Bowl, why should your local bar owner pay a band that’s just starting out to play their bar? Play for exposure! That’s what all the big names do, after all, and it seems to work out great for them! Oh, and we’ll be taking a cut of the merch sales too.

If you’re someone who bitches and moans about how music is all just corporate-produced pop and there’s no innovation anywhere, this is part of the reason why. At the end of the day, people have to pay rent, buy groceries, and take care of their families. If your band that you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into for years is spinning its wheels in this awful run around of “letting music go for free -> performing for free -> more people listen to you music for free -> more performing for free” you can’t live like that. You’re going to take a job that will leave you less time to rehearse, less flexibility to go on the road, and less energy to devote to making your music better or running the business side. I know that a lot of graphic or visual artists are also familiar with the problem of assuming they want to work for free for “exposure”, and some of them are speaking out about it.

If the NFL is looking for a way to wring money out of halftime shows, perhaps they should figure out another way to do it, maybe by getting rid of the musical performance altogether and selling the time for “long form” commercials since they obviously don’t actually care about the music. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that’s asking established artists to essentially pay a finders fee for the chance to perform. Yes, artists do see some increased sales following a Super Bowl performance, but they see increased sales following their participation in ANY big media event. There’s always a bump in album sales after the Grammys, and the fact that album sales go up following an artist’s death is well known. Almost ANYTHING that gets the general public to pay attention to an artist will result in increased sales. The Super Bowl isn’t special in that regard, and they shouldn’t act like they are. So, NFL? Fuck you. Pay artists.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Berry

    (which still doesn’t pay royalties to performers in the US)

    Whaaaaat?

  • Genevieve Burgess

    In the US, AM/FM radio stations pay performance royalties to the composer of a song, but not the artist performing it or the individual who owns the recording. This is NOT standard, basically every other country in the world features a performance right for artists, but because the record companies saw radio as promotional for a long time they never pushed for the royalty. That's starting to change now.

    This means that when Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was on every radio station constantly, Whitney Houston didn't get a dime for any of those plays. Dolly Parton, on the other hand, was rewarded handsomely for her song-writing work.

  • Berry

    Ah, okay, that makes a little bit more sense, thank you for explaining. I thought it meant they don't pay royalties at all. Still not right though.

    My country does have rights for performers, but the composers do get a lion's share. I used to work at a very small radio station where we had to fill out a form for every song we played on air so the right people would get the right amount of money. And it was important to get the composer right, because it wasn't always who you'd think. Sometimes smaller bands, typically from the punk era, or adhering to that philosophy, would have the whole band as the composer, so they would all get their share. But there was also one band that was very popular in the late 90's/early 00's that had like eleven or twelve members and only maybe two of them wrote songs. So those two members made a mint, the others not so much. Which in a way is fair enough, if you consider the work put it.

    Sorry if this is boring to you. The article was great, by the way.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    No! This is my field, so it's great!

    I think the US will get a performance royalty for performers soon-ish. Internet and satellite broadcasters already have to pay it, so the pressure is building to make AM/FM radio pay as well. Here, though, the streaming royalties are divided more in favor of the performer than the composer and there's a lot of people who are very unhappy about that.

  • Tommy Marx

    I generally enjoy Pajiba's articles, but every now and then you post one that really kicks royal ass. I could not agree with Genevieve Burgess more, all of her points are well made, and I am amazed that the NFL would have the balls to even suggest something like that. If the greedy bastards of the NFL are so worried that a major star might actually get some exposure and they won't get a cut, they should go back to the "Up With People" half-time shows that gave people time to go to the bathroom, cook some food, clean the garage, etc. I'm sure the ratings will be through the roof.

  • Claire

    The NFL has just became even bigger assholes for the statement they released today.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/e...

    They would ONLY rule out Janet Jackson?!? Only her?!? What about Justin Timberlake you fuckshitasstwats?!? He ripped that top off himself but he gets a pass. If you're gonna punish her for that, then you should punish him too.

    *Screams externally*

  • John G.

    Well...but...how else can the NFL make money?? I mean...the superbowl is only the most watched event on Earth or something.

  • dilwazr

    Seriously. I would imagine that the half-time performers help draw Super Bowl viewers (myself included) just as much as the Super Bowl helps them. Also, I work in the music industry, and people really have no idea how hard it is to be an independent artist right now. Bands used to get support from their labels when they went on tour, but now they're essentially paying out-of-pocket to drive across the country and play for $250 a night, 10% of which goes to their agent. It's a rough gig!

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm just here to say fuck the NFL, the company, on every fucking level.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    This is unrelated, but:

    ATTENTION, PLEASE.

    On Tuesday, Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old black man who was known in his community and known to be mentally ill was shot to death by police in St. Louis.

    A store owner called 911 alleging that Powell was stealing doughnuts and pop, though I'm not sure how that works if he didn't leave the store. Another woman called saying he had a knife.

    Already, a storm of hateful lies have been perpetrated against him, mostly coming from the police. These allegations proved false when a mobile phone video of the murder was analyzed.

    Those lies are as follows:

    -When the police got out of the vehicle, Powell walked in their direction, yelling and telling them to shoot, already.

    -According to the St. Louis Police Chief, both officers opened fire
    on Powell when he came within three or four feet of them while holding a
    knife 'in an overhand grip.'

    Video evidence proves that Powell didn't come nearly that close and his arms were at his sides. The officers began shooting about ten seconds after first seeing him and hit him with a barrage of bullets.

    So, that means that the Police Chief lied on the record.

    The KKK is raising funds for Darren Wilson (for what, I don't know because he's not out a dime) and is planning to descend on Ferguson later this week with the intent of 'protecting' white property owners.

    There was no one able to confiscate the phone this time.

  • foolsage

    Two things:

    1) The video of the shooting is online. It's disturbing but it's also first hand evidence. No need to listen to pundits or excuses; you can see that Powell was about 8' away and had his hands at his side when he was shot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

    Powell DID tell the cops to shoot him, but that's about the only accurate thing in their statements.

    At this point the Ferguson PD has lost all trust and respect from anyone paying attention.

    2) The KKK is not raising funds for Officer Wilson, nor do they have any plans to get involved in Ferguson. From what I can find, some guy claiming to be a Grand Wizard made a statement indicating that the KKK was supporting Wilson and so on. Later, the actual KKK released statements saying, essentially, "Huh? No, we're not involved, and we don't know that other guy. He's not with us. That's not even a real group he claims to represent."

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    The yelling I got, he was a mentally unbalanced guy, and I do believe that he had a knife, but I guess I ended up conflating that with the arms inadvertently. Sloppy writing on my part.

    Dang, I've heard the story go back and forth three times today. As of 9:35, I take the Klan stuff with a boulder of salt for all of the ping-pong of the day. I don't know where my head is on that part, I don't trust media coverage and I certainly don't trust the Klan.

    I didn't watch the video. I don't handle fictional violence, let alone this.

  • foolsage

    I watched it, and... it's kind of amazing. This video was released by the Ferguson PD because they claimed it was exculpatory; they felt that anyone watching the video would agree that the officers acted appropriately.

    I don't agree. At all. I saw two officers who were EAGER to use deadly force, who made no attempt to defuse the situation. They arrived, they yelled, and they opened fire within 17 seconds. They didn't try to disarm him, didn't try to keep a safe distance and call for backup, didn't use their tasers. They didn't even try talking to him in a calm and reasonable voice. Hell, they kept firing at the body on the ground.

    And, look, I get it; it's stressful reacting to stuff like that. But... that's also the police's job. That's what we pay them for. That's what we allow them so much power and authority for; so they can protect US (not just themselves) with appropriate force and not excessive force.

    Here's a good article on the killing and people's reactions to it:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/nat...

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I'll read the article tonight, thank-you for passing it on to me.

    That scenario is even more ghoulish than what I had pictured. It is a stressful job, I guess that's why they didn't bother to do it. I don't want to sound glib, but Lisa Simpson said, 'If you're the police, who will police the police?' I can't even imagine how the scene you described to me could ever be thought to ring of appropriateness. To paraphrase Inigo Montoya in regard to their use of the word exculpatory, I don't think that word means what they think it means. And there were TWO men there, right? I'm still interested in what's going to come of the Police Chief lying so brazenly on camera and smearing the memory of this man. That's a whole new level of contemptuousness, not just towards the victim but also towards the audience. Just, 'Eh, fuck it, you gonna eat that? Look, I've got someone on the other line, what are you going to do, like they won't do that anyway. Oh, the game's coming on, peace out.' This malevolent obsession with us, why won't they just let it go? And they think they should be afraid of us.

    Thanks again for the link.

  • foolsage

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" ("Who watches the watchmen?" or "Who polices the police?") - Juvenal, roughly 1900 years ago

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Oh foolio, the Praetorian Guard is looking like marriage material right now. All they did was kill bosses and scheme against the senate-- and even so, if you bought them off and sucked up, you'd be fine if you stayed out of the Teutoburg Forest (too soon) and dodged the odd purge, you know? Good times. Yes, there would have been little need for me to go around rinsing the blood out of my toga, Sol Invictus willing. And you could dream!

    The Guard was merciful, too. When Emperor Nerva announced that he was adopting Trajan, the Praetorian Guard was so happy that it decided not to go through with the assassination plot it was almost certainly nursing and that's really nice. The Satires ended up as the kind of talk that got Domitian to exile him and the Guard was loyal to Domitian (money, sucking up and senate bashing...but those daddy issues), but when Nerva called Juvenal back, guess who didn't even murder the satirist or the emperor? The Guard! That's forgiveness.

    And it's not like anyone seized the Satires for artfully recording reality.

    Interesting article, mostly Grand Dragon-level responses. As expected. The one about self-segregation had some crazies in there, too.

  • DeaconG

    Yep, these dipshits are about to ratchet it up to 11. Dear KKK, do not antagonize the gangbangers, they have equal firepower.

    If you don't mind.

  • Ben

    I was watching ESPN's Pardon The Interruption and they were talking about this and they raised a really good point. Ever since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake had the whole "Nipplegate" performance the NFL has gone very safe with their Superbowl performers. Generic, white 70's artists who won't take any risks.

    Now if they are asking the artists to pay to play the halftime show, they opening a box where someone like Rihanna or Katy Perry can easily respond with "If I am paying a couple million to play this stage, I am doing what I want" and if that means risque performances and nipple slips, well it's the NFL' s own fault.

  • ed newman

    That's a great thought but the NFL won't let them perform without an airtight contract prohibiting ANYTHING that could get them in trouble with the FCC.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    They pitched a fit over M.I.A's double eagle during Madonna's set, so that could make them back down if someone brought it to the table. Rihanna saying she'll give over 3% of her ticket sales if they let her perform in a sparkly thong, tear-away shirt, and no tape delay.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I was thinking of those same two things. It's kind of like when Stephen Colbert eviscerated the Bush administration at the Correspondent's Dinner and they had Rich Little perform the next year.

  • DeaconG

    And they completely missed the double-entendre Prince did; you know, where he's in the shadows and the shape of his guitar looked like a giant pointed DICK...

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I have to say that Prince's greatest moment was when he was performing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.

    Reasons:

    He plays an absolutely incredible guitar solo and by the look of it, I think Dhani Harrison wanted to offer him marriage. We forget sometimes what a damned good guitarist he is, which says a lot about his talent in general because he's one of the greats on that instrument.

    In the middle of his solo, he does what looks to the audience as though its coming out from nowhere-- does a trust fall off of the stage with less worry than it takes the rest of to do something like take a sip of water. Obviously, it's rehearsed, but it's still fun. Then, the security man pops up and props him back up on the stage, not one beat missed.

    But the biggest reason? The second he finishes the solo, he throws his guitar straight up into the air --IT NEVER COMES DOWN, and then struts off the stage. Where did the guitar go? And don't say that someone in front of him did and we couldn't see, I think Mozart caught it.

    I don't know the policy on links is, it stuck the screen on automatically, but I guess if I'm wrong, someone will correct me

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

  • DeaconG

    (watches vid, picks jaw up out of lap)

    Oh. Ho. Lee. SHIT!

    Bookmarked to my YouTube playlist. I got nothin'.

    (Bows to Jo)

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    It's really something special, isn't it? I'm glad I got to pass on something that you're enjoying this much.

  • ColostomyBaggins

    They did bleep Mick Jagger for saying 'cocks'.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    THE GODDAMN NERVE.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    The only Superbowl halftime show I'm interested in is the "Doran needs more liquor and snacks" halftime show. It's usually comical, definitely entertaining and sometimes contains copious amounts of nudity. And that's just me trying to open the bag of Cheetos.

  • DeaconG

    I'm usually attempting to extrude a number #2 due to all the groceries I stuffed myself full of during the pregame and first quarter.

  • John W

    I agree I hope each one of these artist tell the NFL to go f*ck themselves.

    I could see an unknown band wanting to boost their band paying the NFL for the privilege but to ask an established star to pay them is ludicrous.

  • Claire

    I love everything about this article. Can the NFL be more up its own ass?! It's not enough that they are a multibillion dollar industry but they have to have more? But I guess that's the standard for practically all multibillion corporations: Wring out as much cash as you can, no matter who gets screwed over.

  • foolsage

    It's far worse than that, actually. The NFL abuses its comical "non-profit" status to avoid paying taxes. And yet somehow the commissioner makes $30M a year. Oh, and those stadiums, in which all the games are played? Yeah, they're mostly bought and maintained by taxpayers.

    Football is massively profitable because it's a game rigged on behalf of the commission and the team owners. The public pays for it in several ways, almost all without the average American having any clue about it.

  • ed newman

    Actually the commissioner made $44 million last year.

  • foolsage

    Youch. Well, that's considerably worse than before.

  • Claire

    Oh I'm well aware about the fact that taxpayers pay for these stadiums despite many NFL owners being billionaires. They're about to give the Falcons a new stadium where I live and not many people are happy about it.

    And of all the artists mentioned who could actually say "Fuck you Pay Me!" my money's on Rihanna.

  • JoeK

    Coldplay should pay me for having to listen to that goddamn "Sky Full of Stars" song everywhere I go.

  • Benny Gesserit

    You could try what I do - sing along but say "*rse" where they say "stars" (do Americans use "*rse"?)

    'Cause you're an *rse, 'cause you're a sky full of *rse
    I'm gonna give you my heart
    'Cause you're an *rse, 'cause you're a sky full of *rse
    'Cause you light up the path

  • foolsage

    Americans mostly say "ass" instead of "arse".

  • Benny Gesserit

    At my end of Canada, they can both be used to describe the act of being annoying or foolish. IE "Jeff, stop making an arse of yourself and get in the car."

  • ColostomyBaggins

    Rusty I love you, but what about the fact that when CDs came out in 1987 they cost millions of dollars for the labels to produce and thus the price for the consumer was $15. Now it takes little more than a laptop to produce professional quality recordings. Every top name artist tours with a recording studio on their tour bus and they are already busy cranking out their next release. Still albums cost $15 and have 12 tracks. None of the cost savings of the advancements in technology is being passed on to the consumer.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    This is something I thought about going into, but didn't because this was already pretty long. The price of albums has, overall, dropped since the peak CD years and the options to buy single tracks helps level the playing field there. 12 tracks to an album is an unreasonable "standard" and there are artists who put out longer albums, so I think the whole concept of an album is changing, it just hasn't changed completely yet.

    The music industry supports a ton of people whose faces you never see. I have friends who are backing musicians, studio engineers, who work backstage at these huge concerts (I've done that too), and even if you don't like record labels they do employ a lot of people. Having a professional recording studio and trained engineers and professional backing musicians still makes a big difference, and all those people need a paycheck. These three artists will be fine if they never sell another album, but the people who rely on them directly and indirectly for their livelihood won't. That's not to say that there shouldn't be a hard reevaluation of the way the industry does business, but there's a lot more factors and a lot more people involved in where that money is going than you see on the surface.

  • Buck off

    You may need to use a proxy to listen to this but the goddess Sinead O'Connor discusses this issue in a fantastic interview on BBC 6 Music. The whole interview is worth a listen, she talks about treatment of artists by the industry too.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programme...

  • dizzylucy

    Next they're going to ask any free agents playing in the game to play for free. Because you know, if they do well, maybe their next team will make them a bigger offer thanks to the exposure!

  • logan

    The title of this article doesn't make sense to me. The NFL has NEVER paid an appearance fee so why ask for it now?

    I will bet someone will be willing to pay the NFL, though maybe not the three they asked to.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    They absolutely should have been paying before, but this is kind of a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation. Not only should they not actively take money from artists, they should be paying them for their work.

  • logan

    i would disagree that they should have been paying them all along since that's been the situation for 20-30years? I would say that artists see a benefit to doing it or they would have quit long ago.

    As for asking for them to PAY for the privilege that is a bold move.
    Interesting to see if that works or not.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    The artist paying for free could be seen as the artist agreeing to a mutually beneficial arrangement. They'll see some bump in album or ticket sales, and the NFL gets to advertise a big name artist performing on the Super Bowl, drawing some casual fans who may not watch otherwise. Asking them to pay shifts the power balance dramatically from "mutually beneficial" to "Dear international superstar: let us do you BIG FAVOR by allowing you to purchase 15 minutes of our time to promote your music!"

  • logan

    Well it still comes down to economics. Is the bump in sales from doing the show greater than the cost of doing the show?

    Be interesting to see who, if anyone, takes the gamble.

  • Because the league is now asking for money out of the artists' pockets.

  • logan

    Yeah I get that they are asking the artists to pay NOW.
    But why tell the NFL to PAY when they never have before?

  • Because the NFL is a $20B business that makes ad money directly off the backs of their unpaid halftime acts.

  • The absolute last thing the NFL needs is money. Especially from the Super Bowl. They already get exclusive use of area golf courses for three weeks, huge mile-wide zones that can only display NFL advertising.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I have no idea why any of the artists mentioned above would pay the NFL to perform at the half time show. If you had a mid-level artist looking for that bump in exposure, then MAYBE it would make sense. But this is kind of a backwards scenario - the halftime show is like bonus entertainment from the hosts to the audience. It's community building, it's fan appreciation. The Super Bowl halftime performance is cachet - biggest game gets the biggest and "best" in entertainment. Having that entertainment pay to perform is gross.

  • RJSuperfreaky

    While I appreciate artists getting paid for their work, the NFL does have a point. There is data showing that immediately after halftime shows, the artists involved get significantly increased downloads of their work, and also increased ticket sales to their concerts. So while the NFL may not be paying them, they are making additional money that they would not otherwise have made simply due to the exposure such a large venue offers. The NFL just wants a cut of the action. Artists have the right to refuse any offer, but don't be surprised if they still take it.

    I would be perfectly happy to give the NFL a couple million dollars if the exposure gained me $100 million in additional revenue, but unfortunately they aren't looking for slam poetry at the halftime show.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    As I pointed out, virtually anything that gets the public's attention on an artist helps the artist. The "Guardians of the Galaxy" soundtrack is currently making buckets of money for all the artists on there, but none of them had to pay for the privilege of being on that soundtrack. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement, in which the movie uses the songs for the emotions they bring, and the performers get the benefit of licensing fees and increased sales. The Grammys gives winners a boost, and, morbidly, so do artist deaths. The Super Bowl is not some holy grail in this regard, and I doubt any of these three artists would have trouble with album sales or tour sales without it.

  • Funny thing: After hearing so much about the soundrack, I finally just went and looked it up. And lo and behold, I ALREADY OWN every single track*. They're all on my iPod.
    I am so cool.

    *Except that fucking Pina Colada song. I am in my fourth decade of hating that fucking song. Gah. Stupid fucking song.

  • $100M? Artists aren't getting a $100M bump from a 15-minute halftime concert. The artists are also doing the NFL a service by keeping people tuned in during the break. High-profile acts guarantee a big halftime show sponsor, which is more money for the NFL.

    The NFL is a $20B industry. They do not and should not ask anyone to play for free unless the NFL itself isn't making a dime.

  • ed newman

    This is backwards thinking. Just because the NFL is making shit tons of money does not obligate them legally, morally, or ethically to pay for anything that they can get for free or they can charge for. They are not putting a gun to anyone's head to play the Super Bowl. If paying to play (or playing for free) is not a good deal for the artist they can say no. And I hope they all say no.

    The NFL is a very successful business and they are acting like it. This move will likely offend some, but I doubt it will cost them any money. More likely it will make them extra and that is all they care about.

  • foolsage

    You could make that same argument for not paying the players anything, or for only paying the players a tiny annual stipend. "If you can get away with it, do it" is no sort of moral or ethical standard; that's simple self-serving opportunism. Don't let's pretend that there's anything especially ethical about taking everything you possible can get away with from others.

  • ed newman

    It's not an argument. This is exactly what the NFL would do if it could. But (1) there is a union and (2) there is the threat of other leagues forming that could pull customers from the NFL. So there are reasons why they can't behave that way.

    That is the way Capitalism works these days. The NFL just has more power over its situation than most companies. You can attach moral or ethic judgments as you want. In this case I see no moral or ethical issues. These artists they've approached are not exactly without resources.

  • Let's not toss around words like "ethically" and "morally" in regards to the NFL.

    They're trying to make money off something they should be paying for. All it takes it one artists saying Yes. Then the precedent is set. And yet another service people should pay for becomes viewed as free.

  • ed newman

    I disagree. Commerce in America is about negotiation. Your don't get what you deserve, you get what you agree to. Athletes for years were woefully underpaid until they organized. Some would say they are still underpaid.

    If artists want to be paid, then don't play for free, and certainly don't pay to play. There used to be no other way to be in the industry than through record labels (and let's not get started on their practices). Now there are successful self produced musicians. Anyone can go this route.

    The NFL has all the power now. Why should they give a shit about precedent?

    And I say why should they be paying? Should Letterman/Fallon/Kimmel pay for music acts and comedians? Should the Grammy's pay? Essentially there is no difference.

  • I can live with the acts not getting paid. Asking them to pay for the privilege of making the NFL money is a bridge too far.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    You'll always find someone willing to play for free, even if it's your neighbor's kid and their garage band. That's a shitty standard. Art is valuable. Music is valuable. The time of the people who create those things is valuable. If you want the benefit of using music to boost your audience or promote your product, pay for it.

  • kirbyjay

    I'm all for paying for music. I pay to go to the movies, I pay to watch tv, I pay for any and all entertainment. What I object to is the fact that since I first set ears on "I Want To Hold Your Hand" I've paid for albums, 8 tracks, casettes, cds, and now ITunes, all for the same songs. I had no problem downloading music from LimeWire when I first got my IPod.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    Trust me, that's a feature, not a bug. Entertainment is shady like that. I think the biggest reason the industry resisted going to digital for so long is because it was easy to rip tracks from CDs, so they wouldn't get the sales boost of people re-buying stuff when the old format became obsolete.

  • ed newman

    This might backfire on the NFL. They may wind up with someone's garage band. But I think that they are OK with that. Once upon a time they didn't have acts at halftime. The halftime acts were to attract non-football fans. Now the Super Bowl is the biggest event in the country and won't be less so if they bag the halftime show altogether. Essentially they've outgrown the need for the bands. So essentially while art and music are valuable, they are no longer so valuable to the NFL, so why should they pay? Why shouldn't they take a cut of a multi-million dollar act's extra income from being part of the Super Bowl.

    This move takes massive balls on the NFL and I hope they have Grandma Lewis playing her banjo as a halftime show, but I still reject your premise that it is the artists right to be paid because of some abstract principle of value.

  • BlackRabbit

    Pay the artists AND the cheerleaders, dammit.

  • DeaconG

    You know. maybe the artists en masse should tell the NFL that they aren't available to do any halftime shows anymore.

    Don't you fuckers have more money than God at this point? So you got the players to bite on the last CBA and now you essentially want to do the same thing to the artists.

    Fuck y'all.

  • poopnado

    I skimmed that article, and I agree with it generally, but I'm just here to say that Rihanna is hot. I hate how hot she is. I hate everybody and everything that is not Rihanna right now.

  • Benny Gesserit

    Gasp! Even this kitten who isn't Rihanna?

    http://i.imgur.com/lxz1xKt.jpg

  • poopnado

    Ugh. That kitten is pretty hot. But it's not Rihanna so I HATE IT.

  • Merski

    Zis is a German kitten! :D

  • MichaelEhrgott

    Nobody could hate that kitten, nobody....except maybe Dick Cheney.

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