I've been a publisher since 1969. Our scores were always produced and distributed at low cost in expectation of performance royalties. We work for the long term, not the short one.
Royalties have never, historically or presently, been supplementary.
I'm always of two minds about this issue. I oppose long copyright terms, draconian prosecutions, DRM and most of the lot of the law since the DMCA.. I also oppose work-for-hire exceptions as permitted under U.S. copyright law (mostly with respect to the transformation of the work into other media, its excerpting and repurposing without compensation).
As a senior composer (yikes!), I made a societal deal five decades ago that my work would be granted a reasonable time to recoup the effort that went into its creation.
The definition of 'reasonable' can be surprising to those whose work is immediate (pop, software, etc.). In my genres (what I call 'nonpop') that time can be very long indeed. Many pieces composed in the 1970s (I'd guess before most Slashdotters were born) are just getting their first performances now as the younger performers discover them. This is a long time -- and I have a lot of trouble believing that such work should drop into the commons even before its first performance. So I appreciate the extension of copyright that recognizes both the longer life of artists now and the longer time to market on certain kinds of art and music.
Not sure how much you know about ASCAP. Its stupidities (such as the Girl Scout fiasco) give them a bad name. They've been my licensing agency since 1988. They pass through 90% of the amount collected to me, and I have absolutely no paperwork except an annual tax statement. That 10% they keep is really worth it.
Because of the genre of music I write, almost 100% of my royalties come from live peformances, not airplay. In the U.S., airplay royalties are by random checks of logs. That radio issue is not their doing. ASCAP and BMI are still operating under a 70-year-old court order allowing them to represent composers and authors and their publishers collectively. Every change has to go back to the court for approval. In other countries, every airplay generates royalties (such as these $.90 and $1.50 amounts I get from Sweden and Finland every three months). Although my music has been heard thousands of times on the air (and on cable -- the Discovery Channel's "Deadly Women" series includes a clip of my music), I've never been caught in a log check. Unlucky me.
There's no moral high ground for SABAM. I know Slashdot's readers don't much like ASCAP, but they're my licensing agency and part of my small income as a composer comes from those royalties. Problem is, SABAM has yet to pay (via ASCAP) a cent of the royalties owed me for performances in Belgium for the past eight years. (Same goes for SPA in Portugal, which has never forwarded any royalties due.) Until they actually turn over the royalties they collect in composers' names, they have no excuse to collect them in the first place.
Before you engage in the screw-you comments, please know that I provide all my sheet music for free download and only expect the performance royalties in return. The performers and venues pay those royalties, but Belgium and Portugal just pocket the money.
There is a loss of live events of this type but there is a great deal online. Many of the major orchestras make their concerts available through sites like Instant Encore and especially YouTube. This is good video and audio in many cases -- if you have broadband, it's the way to go for any interesting nonpop (classical) music.
At this time in history, there is no reason to be deprived, or have any children deprived, of a rich concert experience -- and with far better visuals than from a seat in the house.
Live tweeting is already happening at a lot of nonpop concerts
The whole discussion is really deep desperation on the part of orchestras, and not just in the U.S. Orchestras are shutting down across Europe as well. As likely one of the few actual composers on Slashdot (this is me), I'm not awfully sorry about it. I've written a few dozen orchestral compositions, with half of them played. Audiences of all ages -- I recall one SRO with listeners ages 15-20 paying for tickets with whatever cash they had just to hear my new piece -- want to hear new music, and not just game or movie music rewritten for orchestras. But the orchestras depend on those conservative and wealthy patrons for whom the boxes at a symphony concert are a status trinket.
I'm neutral about live tweeting
I agree with some posters that this lacks a sense of history and an appreciation of geography.
It also deeply lacks a sense of culture. There are combined areas with no common culture and indeed cultural opposition across geography. This re-Balkanization, so to speak, might as well offer the opportunity to dismantle the United States -- which is, in all ways except language, as culturally distinct as most of Europe.
Of course if you're familiar with a system, it doesn't matter what the numbers are. I'm only talking about perceptions by the body, not the eyes. My body temperature is important to that feel, that's all. Where I live, knowing that the water is freezing isn't as important as knowing if it feels cold (because it gets cold