Rep. Mary Bono, widow of Sonny Bono, copyright beneficiary, copyright fanatic, may be in line to replace Hilary Rosen as head of the RIAA:
- Bono, R-Calif., said she hasn’t considered whether she would accept a prospective offer to replace the departing chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America but stopped short of denying she was interested.
Her spokeswoman, Cindy Hartley, earlier had described the position as Bono’s “ideal job” but said her boss wasn’t actively pursuing the position and plans to run for re-election.
….Bono’s financial disclosure forms, released Monday, show that she and her children own copyrights on Sonny Bono’s music collections worth between $580,000 and $1.3 million from the RIAA, Warner Music Group and the Bono Collection Trust. They earned royalties in 2002 worth between $210,000 and $1.225 million. Sonny Bono, the congresswoman’s husband, died in a skiing accident in January 1998. She replaced him in Congress.
….The director of Consumers Union, which has battled the RIAA over the rights of consumers to make digital copies of music they buy, complained that Bono’s remarks about wanting the industry job raised questions.
“We certainly hope the congresswoman is not putting her own personal interests ahead of the policy concerns of her constituents or the nation,” Gene Kimmelman said. “It certainly creates an appearance question about what her true motivation is.”
….Campaign records indicate that Hollywood and the music industry were among her top contributors in the 2002 election, giving $22,100.
It has suddenly occurred to the congresswoman – whose current job it it is to, you know, serve the public interest – that her relationship with Sonny’s copyrights, her belief that copyrights should go on “forever,” and her cozy relationship with the copyright industry might appear a bit … untoward, so she is backpedaling. Maybe Cher would do a better job.