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Spitzer did it

Spitzer reached an agreement with Sony BMG today on a multiple-decade payola scandal and effectively got Sony BMG to stop violating federal law with their payola practices and pay a $10 million fine for what they have done up until now. Payola is cash bribes for airplay on the radio (pay + vitriola), outlawed in 1960, it returned when positions for “independent promoters” were devised and could act as a clandestine money funnel to top dj’s.

The best part about the deal is that there will be more crackdowns and more payola-crushing with Spitzer out in the loose. Can Spitzer clear up this labyrinthine, corporatized crap? It seems like Spitzer is having a pretty easy time at it, the real hindrance to getting this part done was getting people to start thinking that when major labels cover the entire field of radio that there’s a serious problem for music (and culture).

“Spitzer has asked for documents from three other major recording industry names — EMI, Warner Music Group and Vivendi Universal SA’s Universal Music Group. While Spitzer would not talk specifically about investigations into those companies, he said the payola problem goes “way beyond Sony BMG.”

Have a listen to your independent radio (or a drink), it’s on Spitzer. Spitzer, This is awesome. Thank you.

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