As if censoring the radio wasn’t enough, now radio stations have the power to digitally destroy duets.
I’m sure this has been going on for quite some time, but lately I am getting increasingly annoyed with how radio stations can either cut-and-paste songs together or request a “radio version” of a song. Sometimes songs are shortened or re-recorded for reasons of length, profanity, etc.. Now it seems corporate conglomerates are ruining music due to legal issues.
Allow me to explain this in the form of a hypothetical. Pretend you own a massive media conglomerate, will call it Transparent Channel. Your company owns several stations in various regions, and each station serves a different demographic. Legally, your stations obtain the rights to various songs and artists so that your stations can legitimately broadcast music without impeding on any copyright issues, (i.e.: performance rights). Now, Station A owns the rights to broadcast Singer A’s music. Sister Station B owns the rights to broadcast Singer B’s music. Each musician is popular in a different demographic, so separating the rights and giving them to the station that is closer to the singer’s demographic makes sense. So what you do when singers A & B want to do something together?
Personally, if the stations are owned by the same conglomerate, like our hypothetical Transparent Channel, I think some of the rights for broadcasting artists’ music should be shared. Thus, if two musicians or two groups want to do some sort of a duet, the music should be broadcasted in its full version on both stations. Apparently my method of thinking is not correct per my observations of the real world. Example à Maroon V and Rihanna have recently done a song together entitled, “If I Never See Your Face Again.” I initially heard and saw this song as a music video on MTV. I’m a fan of both musicians, I thought the duet was lovely and catchy, and I looked forward to hearing it on the radio. Cut to me in my car à the intro of the song comes on, I start singing along waiting to hear Maroon V and Rihanna’s voices, but instead all I hear is the lead singer of Maroon V, Adam Levine, performing the whole song. As much as I enjoy Levine’s voice, the song is meant to be a duet.
Now if legal issues are stopping radio stations from playing the music as it was originally written and recorded, then there should be some sort of loophole for these types of situations. A part of me also wonders if radio stations are deliberately enforcing this cut and paste/re-record policy as a way to avoid upsetting the radio station’s fan base. Although I find it difficult to believe that playing an artist not normally found on a particular radio station will cause a radio station’s fans to go mad and start a revolt, crazier things have happened.
Musicians create emotions and imagery out of sound. While the entity they create should be protected, I don’t think it’s fair that the same litigation used as a form of protection should be horrifically altered into a tool that forces artists to alter their creations to the specifications of corporations.