Cracker's David Lowery Slams Pandora's Tim Westergen for Being a 'Sell Out'
The former Camper Van Beethoven frontman says proposed legislation to recalculate artist royalties is like, "Delta Airlines asking Congress to pass a law to force their pilots and flight attendants into accepting an 85 percent pay cut.”
David Lowery, of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker fame, has lashed out at Pandora co-founder Tim Westergen accusing the Internet radio leader of “selling out.”
In an Oct.14 post published on the Trichordist blog, the frontman and 90s hitmaker describes attempts by Pandora to “push a bill through congress that would slash payments to artists by as much as 85%.” Lowery goes on to accuse Westergen of deep-pocketed lobbying (to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars) that “will let Pandora get around agreements it made with artists unions and copyright holders.”
Lowery compares the legislation that Pandora is supporting (Westergen went public with his support in the form of an Oct. 9 blog post) to “Delta Airlines going to congress and asking them to pass a law to force their pilots and flight attendants into accepting an 85% pay cut.” He adds: “We don’t do this in this country. Screw these guys.”
Pointing to previous correspondence by Westergen in 2009 which declared his support for the Radio Fairness Act (HR848) and promised that, “the royalty crisis is over!” and that Pandora and rights holders had come to “a long-term agreement for survivable royalty rates,” Lowery says there’s all manner of back-pedaling taking place. “Now he’s saying the opposite,” Lowery writes. “He’s going for the cash and mainstream radio airplay. Or something like that. Now his new bill the Internet Radio Fairness Act would fire the Copyright Royalty Judges and replace them with a Kangaroo Court.”
Pandora currently commands 6.3 percent of the U.S. radio listening market, up from less than 4 percent a year earlier. Of its 56 million active listeners, more than 70 percent use Pandora on mobile devices.
Says Lowery in his final missive, “As Tim is a musician there is really only one reasonable response: Sell Out!”