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A Fireside Chat With Producer John Snyder

By Published: September 30, 2003

I will tell you something else, Fred. Eighty-five percent of recorded music in the history of the world is owned by five companies. Only fifteen percent of that music is available at any given time. What is up with that? Why don't they just take that out of the eighty-five percent and put it online and make some money. Why let it sit? That brings us to copyright law. They just extended the copyright law for twenty years, but only two percent of what they are perfecting is available to the public. So it is a strange business.

And as long as you have corporations running the show, they are going to do what is best for them. Ironic thing is they will often do something that is against their best interest. Radio is controlled by two major corporations and you have to pay a fortune to get your song on there and no naturally, there is a limit to what is available.

FJ: Westwood One (NBC) and?

JS: Clear Channel. And not only that, but Clear Channel owns many of the major venues, so if you don't play their venues, they are not going to play your record. It is owned by friends of the Bushes and if you criticize George Bush, your record is going to come off the radio. Witness the Dixie Chicks. That is not a positive development and it is not a positive development for music or politics or freedom of speech.

FJ: Which begs the question: is today's music truly an expression of freedom?

JS: Clear Channel is investing in the two big Latin TV networks. The result of which is they will control seventy percent of all Spanish speaking television. That is not good. That's not good. That leads to Fox News. It leads to very severe ideological points of views. You want the diversity of ideas to keep everybody honest. If you only have one group that is setting the rules, what rules will they set?

I think the capitalist system that we all seem to bow down to is being abused by the people want to make monopolies out of the businesses that exist under that system. The Clinton administration deregulated radio. I don't know if they realized what the consequence would be of it. In Denver, Clear Channel owns eight radio stations.

What do you think you're going to hear? All of it is programmed out of a closet is San Antonio, Texas. What does that have to do with Denver? We are losing a regional identity here and it isn't going to be good.

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