The NYTimes is reporting rumors that crusading Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has served subpoenas to the four major record corporations - the Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the EMI Group and the Warner Music Group. In all cases he is said to be looking for evidence of what used to be called "payola" - the practice of paying for on-air play time.
These days, as has been well documented, payola is back in different guise that appears to skirt the letter of the law and so is blatantly practiced. Middlemen, funded by the record companies, pay for "advance copies" of station playlists. They then turn over information to the companies and are compensated for each song that appears.
Whether Spitzer will be able to go after the middlemen ("independent promoters") or their Cartel paymasters remains to be seen. But gods the record execs have got to be hoping he gets ambitious and tries to run for some high political office.Posted by dr. wex at October 22, 2004 01:27 PM