What A Surprise: Musicians Claim Label Is Cheating Them Out Of iTunes Royalties

from the big-surprise-there dept

It's always amusing when the recording industry (and its supporters) focus on how helping that particular industry is the equivalent of "helping the artists." Historically, the two sides have often been at odds -- with it being fairly common for many musicians to claim that their record label cheated them out of money owed. The latest is that the Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick claim that their label, Sony Music, isn't paying them what they're owed in royalties for songs bought on iTunes. They're getting 4.5 cents, rather than the 30 cents they believe they're owed. In this case, it's clearly a contractual argument -- with it being unclear what category in the contract an iTunes download falls under. The folks at the label claim it's in the classification that gets the smallest amount, while the bands claim it's in the one that gets the largest. Nothing is that surprising about this type of dispute. However, what could make it interesting is if the bands prevail (which is probably unlikely). Plenty of other musicians would quickly line up for their missing royalties as well -- and it could take a bit of a dent out of the recording industry's digital profits while increasing their ignored demands for higher download prices. Either way, it's yet more evidence that the recording industry's and the musicians' interests are quite often not aligned.


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    DWBjr, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 4:14am

    This is no different than the debate going on with movie studios and actors, with regard to digital distribution (remember when iTunes video downloads started becoming popular? Actors still seemed unhappy with how DVDs went down). Welcome to the information age, where everyone gets caught with their pants down at least twice a year.

    It's odd that this would suddenly come as news to anyone. Not the old "record labels cheating musicians" shtick, but the "how does our contract cover THIS media type". The journalists having their work republished as newspapers went online was another big one. Framing the debate as simply a "musicians vs. labels" issue would be a big mistake. This is everyone's problem who receives royalties from content they help produce.

    As the performers begin receiving royalty checks, and stop getting the run around when asking what percent of what is what... that's when the other shoe falls. More people need to walk around with their eyes open than do now.

     

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      Wizard Prang, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:51am

      Am I missing something?

      Actors do not have the same degree of "ownership" of movies that Artists do over their music. We are not comparing like with like here.

      Big Music has a long history of shafting musicians. They used CD to lower payouts (royalties) while raising profits (prices). Like you said, more artists need to keep their eyes open and READ THE CONTRACT!

       

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        Mr Rat, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 5:43am

        Re: Am I missing something?

        Your assuming that by reading the contract the Artist has the bargaining power to negotiate its terms - certainly BS for new artists - the artists gets screwed every way possible thats the deal and thats the only deal

         

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    Just One Guy, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:02am

    Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong this

    So, Sony pays 4,5 cent per song when a CD is sold, and 30 cents for song when the song is licenced for use in a movie.

    How on earth can anyone believe that a download from iTunesis is more similar to a movie licence than to a CD sale? Besides, as the article says, "newer contracts treat digital downloads like a CD sale and thus allow for the smaller payments to artists".

    So basically these people, just because they signed with the label before digital download was available, believe that their case should be treated differently than the others, and happily equate digital download to the licensing of a song in a movie? But why on earth?

    Mike, as much as I appreciate your constant bashing of the greed of big corporations in the music business wrt digital access, in this case your title seem to defend the bad guys: the artists are the greedy ones here, and the big corporation is just trying to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

     

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      Wizard Prang, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:53am

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      >>> How on earth can anyone believe that a download from iTunesis is more similar to a movie licence than to a CD sale?
      It's neither. Unlike a CD sale, a download is almost 100% profit.

      Naturally Big music wants to pocket ALL of it... and that's what we are seeing here.

       

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        Greedy Too, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

        Re: Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wro

        Natrually, anyone in any business sector will want to pocket as much $ as they can. It's not being greedy to expect to get what you have a contract for...

         

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      Don Gray, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 7:14am

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      If anything the Artists ARE getting a bigger cut than they normally would.

      If they get 4.5c a CD and 4.5c a download, wouldn't it stand to reason that if their CDs weren't "one hit wonders" that they would in fact make MORE money on the downloads?

      I hate the RIAA as much as the next guy, but in this case it seems to me that the musicians are just plain wrong.

       

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      Mike (profile), Apr 28th, 2006 @ 9:42am

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      Mike, as much as I appreciate your constant bashing of the greed of big corporations in the music business wrt digital access, in this case your title seem to defend the bad guys: the artists are the greedy ones here, and the big corporation is just trying to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

      Just One Guy,

      You're jumping to conclusions here. Neither the title nor the post takes one side or the other. All I pointed out was historically the two sides disagree on things like this and that it was a contractual dispute with both sides trying to get the most out of it.

       

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      Antimatter, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 2:16pm

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      Thing is, it's not just that they're claiming it's like a movie. The way the contracts are set up is that they take royalties away from the artists for things like packaging and replacement plans. Obviously, when downloaded Sony has none of these costs. It's like a movie license in the costs to Sony, not in the use of the product, and that's the point of contention. Really, if you take that into account it looks like Sony will have a really difficult time defending against these charges.

       

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      kingmanor, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      here's why the artists are right. From Slashdot:
      Because Sony counts such sales as the equivalent of a physical phonorecording sale, they deduct costs for packaging (20%) and breakage (15%) from the artists' royalties, just as they would if they were selling CDs through more traditional means. Seeing as how there is no physical packaging, nor physical inventory that might suffer breakage, one wonders how Sony will defend against these charges.

      makes sense to me.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 11:07pm

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      Sony charges packaging and distribution costs on CD's, because they have a physical cost themselves in producing the physical product.

      In iTunes sony has no cost. They aren't even paying bandwidth, and thus they should not charge the artist for costs they are not incurring.

       

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      An artist/dj/producer/manager, May 17th, 2006 @ 9:56am

      Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

      First everyone here has it wrong! The artists are the ones that are left holding the bag. The distributors and labels already own over 90% of modern american music put out today. The artist is lucky, very lucky to ever see enough copies sold, to break out of what most artists find themselves in, a non-recoupable state, meaning that sales of their new album go against what was not made from the last album, if they did not recoup enough to offset costs, from the very first album put out by the label, leaving the artist not earning any royalties off of album sales until they can move enough units to break even, or get out being indebted to these companies. So for Itunes, and other peer share sites to side with the companies and be willing to offer music to the public to enjoy at the expense of the artists filing for bankruptcy protection, gettin in trouble to stay afloat by involving themselves in criminal activities, is absurd! Stop being greedy and pay for what you listen to. Would you like to have people come to your place of business, start grabbing what they want to off the shelves because the t.v only shows certain programs, so why pay for it? Come off the dust smoking here!!!!

      90% of artists today find themselves in a non-recoupable state, and cheap consoumers want to steal from the artists just like the labels do.

      The RIAA acts on behalf of all artists as a union to protect their rights on all issues related to the sale of their music. Do we go to the UAW, and gripe and grime about the price of cars, or to OPEC to gripe about the price of oil and gas??

       

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        Wizard Prang, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 12:27pm

        The tired old

        If someone downloads, listens and then buys, are they still a criminal?

        For years, people have bought album after album only to find that they purchased two good songs and a load of filler. Can you blame people for wanting to sample before getting disappointed again?

        For years kids recorded off the radio; they were not cheating the business out of sales. The music business realized that by allowing this they were cultivating future consumers. The Music business has lost sight of this.
        Those kids are now downloading like crazy. Draconian laws will not stop this, though it may put them off buying music when they grow up.

        A major part of this misunderstanding is that copyright is really not about copying - it is about the right to commercially exploit and artist's work.

        Yes, there are thieves out there, but I believe that there is also a lot of potential business. A certain Russian website has shown that people are willing to pay for good-quality DRM-free downloads. The only point of contention is the price. I, for one, will not pay $1/song. I can get legitimate CDs for less than that, and I refuse to pay more for less, which is what Big Music wants.


        The RIAA acts on behalf of all artists as a union to protect their rights on all issues related to the sale of their music. Do we go to the UAW, and gripe and grime about the price of cars, or to OPEC to gripe about the price of oil and gas?

        What's your point?

        Lately, the RIAA has been acting more like the Mafia than a union. Besides, the RIAA is made up of those who own, produce, distribute and sell content - if they are not the legitimate targets for our bad feeling, who is?

        There has to be a compromise here. The problem is that having bought and paid for the latest round of copyright laws, the music business is now operating on the following assumptions:

        1) It's our stuff.
        2) They're all thieves.
        3) We must stop them.

        And they wonder why the buying public is walking away.

         

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    just a guy, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:06am

    It's nice to think that the industry might get the short end of this very lucrative stick, but future artists are certainly going to lose out from now on. They have few paths to success outside of the established labels and at the beginning of a career rarely have the ability to negotiate a better contract. Sad to say, but in that industry you end up playing by their rules, until you are big enough to make your own.

     

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    TriZz, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:10am

    ...actually

    It makes more sense that the artist should get more money for digital downloads as opposed to CD sales.

    - CDs are a physical product that has to be produced and distributed on a very large level.

    This cuts out the manufacturers of the CD as well as the distributors. Those people do NOT get a cut.

     

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      Ensonix, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 7:34am

      Re: ...actually

      I agree with you 100%. We can't compare digital downloads with physical media such as CDs. The costs involved are compeltely different thus, the royalties paid should be different.

       

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        Bob, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Re: ...actually

        Downloaded music to me seems like it should be very low cost to the labels. Granted iTunes is low-margin, but what they lose is markup comes back in volume. If it's cheap, many more will buy it and since the distribution cost for a few megs of binary data is so low (no manufacturing costs, pakaging, liner notes, etc), it seems that the lables have almost no cost except for royalties. The music is aldready marketed; CDs in stores are what they market heavily to offset the costs associated with producing and manhfacturing the physical product. Taking a digital master and uploading it to a music server is essentially an additional, no-cost avenue for sales. Since that is the case, the only reason someone would go get the download is that they like the artist and want their artistry, not because the download was well-marketed. So the download occurs as a result of the efforts of the artist, not of the label. Therefore, the artist SHOULD get a higher percentage of the profit from downloads, because the label had little to do, incrementally speaking, with the demand for the download.

        Artist to Label: Yes you marketed my latest album really well, but you didn't market the downloads and they cost you nothing, materially, to offer the world, so the only reason somone wants it is because of me and only me (my music, that is). So I should get more of a percentage than I get for a CD. in fact if you hadn't marketed my new album, it would have a minimal impact on the number of downloads, because most people who download music are already fans of my music and would have discovered it on thier own, not even knowing I had a new album out.

         

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    Angry Rivethead, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    The music industry

    Is in need of an enema and has for a considerable amount of time.

    For the cost of websites these days if I were a musician, I'd sell my music DIRECTLY off of my website. I mean HOW many copies would you really have to sell before you couldn't handle it yourself? And when it did becoem overwhelming, just contract with a fab plant to make your CDs for you.

    But I guess thats why they're musicians and not engineers or business people.

    In the whole age of JIT and cheap technology, I see record companies as being obsolete alltogether.

     

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      Hoo, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:39am

      Re: The music industry

      if only.

      We set up our own label for ourselves and a few other bands and only sell albums from the website. But at best we only sell about 10 albums a year.

      Despite good reviews.

      So why do we not sell many cds?
      we're crap? ( we only need 5000 people to like us in the world)
      people do not notice the poor qulaity of mp3s
      or people only buy what has been marketed to them?

       

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        asiaerotica.com, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 10:06pm

        Re: Re: The music industry

        Reviews mean nothing there is either a market for your music or not... its a business thing ...the recording is only part of the investment. If you are making music that is not "TOP 20" you cant make music make money.. I have been in so many bands that thought they were going to be the "next big thing" Artists are greedy they want to live the rich life have the fame and fortune, by selling music that is basically "disposable"....listened to today , dirivative of all the other crap out there(mine included) and forgotten tomorrow...
        After having a No 5 hit on the R&B charts and writing a song on the LOX's Platinum selling Money , Power, Respect CD I decided to get into video as I can control all my rights and sell and market DIRECT to the stores
        I made decent money on music..brought my own song on Itunes and have yet to see it appear on my BMI statement I HAVE seen royalties for ringtomes and MP3.com thou. S Jobs and the Record companies are A holes ...big time!

         

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      le evil genius, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 11:00am

      Re: The music industry

      I deal with independent artist as my day job. Thbe idealized world you dream about is just that, a big wet dream. I am no fan of the ruthless excesses of the music business. The labels, though, function as a filter and, more importantly, a bank. Labels provide dollars for rado, print, and web marketing. They also provide tour support that allows a fledgling band theoretically build an audience.

      Technology has made it inexpensive to record and release your creative piece. As someone who has examined these self-releases on a daily bases for over a decade I can tell you, without any equivocation, that most of it is complete crap.

      So, conceptually, cheap technology has made the old-school version of the record label obsolete. The painful truth is making a living as an artist is still desperately difficult. Without financial backing in the early stages, next to impossible.

      Without filters, the sheer numbers of poorly realized music (film, fine art... whatever you want to insert here) creates an impossible roar where no one makes a living and the business of music collapses upon itself.

      Until social-networking proves that it alone can generate enough sales to make self-released artists self-sustaining, the concept of the record label is a necessary evil in the business of music.

      LEG

       

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      Studio Musician, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 1:53pm

      Re: The music industry

      Independent artists trying to sell CDs on websites don't usually sell very many copies. Unless a band tours, performs live, advertises, or otherwise draws attention to their website, they won't sell diddly-squat.

      As someone who has been a studio musician all his life, I deal with record labels all the time, and am not a big fan; having said that, however, labels spend a ton of money on promotion and product placement. They're not paying artists their due, but at the same time, they take the risk on new artists. There have been tons of albums produced which never make it to the stores, only because the labels spent money for development and then realized that the finished product wasn't good enough.

      Development costs for new artists is pretty high; in Nashville, development deals happen all the time, but most of these new unknowns never make it into the stores. All of this goes into the overhead for record labels.

      So that's the other side of it... I still think labels take too much of the profits, but it's not quite so outlandish as a lot of people tend to believe.

       

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    Jeff, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 5:44am

    My take

    Its time for these artists to rid themselves of the labels. Sell your own music. Put your music on iTunes yourself. Tell those parasites in the RIAA to go fsck themselves.

     

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    Just one guy, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:16am

    you keep forgetting...

    ...all the work the labels provide to artists: radio exposure, advertisement, magazines, movie soundtracks, etc.

    Simply giving up labels and going independent is NOT a reasonable solution now for any artist. No radical confrontation is possible. The only solution is to slowly change the mind and behaviors (and, of course, contracts) of labels.

    And who can do that? Not certainly new artists, that simply do not have the leverage. Not old dinosaurs such as Allman Brothers or Cheap Trick, that live basically off sales percentages of old records. Only current, hip, trendy, well-recognized artists at the end of their current contract and negotiating a new one.

    People like Madonna, or Beyonce, etc. that can reasonably guarantee a few more hit records in the future and that can quit from label A at any moment and try their luck with label B. If these people started arguing with their labels about digital rights, online sale percentages, and ownership of distribution and sales rights, then labels would slowly start thinking of a new business model that can accommodate these new technologies and their earnings.

    You simply do not put gigantic enterprises out of business by sheer will force. They will simply ignore you, and in case of need make one phone call to their senator and have a new custom-made law approved and in force before you can even bitch about it in techdirt. Sad but true.

     

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    ME, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:27am

    Who

    Who the heck are these people? I'm talking about the ones downloading Cheap Trick and the Allman Bros? Come we are talking a total difference of $10-$15 right? hahaha

     

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    Steve, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    Just a website

    Sure, you could just sell your music from your website. Then just make your own music video. Then market that music video to the various cable music channels. Then market the music to the radio stations to get it played. Then get rich and famous. Seems simple. I don't see why the record industry needs all that money to pay for marketing, advertising, legal fees, etc. when one person could just do it all.

     

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    Bruce, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:31am

    On the other claw....

    The argument for the labels is now, and has always been primarily that they are marketing firms - they pay for the ads that promote the new releases, and the new artists. They market the CDs to the record stores which then stock them. The manufacturing process has always been a minimal aspect - it didn't cost much to make vinyl records either.

    The question really comes down to whether the labels are still effective at marketing. I can put up a website, cut a CD/R full of music I've produced, and that's fine. Many bands are doing that - but what's the level of exposure they get that way? It's the marketing that's always been the expensive part - ads in papers, selling the discs to the retailers (with the co-marketing expense and discoutns and buybacks and all that) and sending out the promo copies to the radio stations. That's how the market gets built to sell lots of records.

    In the download era, it's functionally the same - how do you build a following for "Bruce from Bethesda"? You can start by fans from live shows, but spreading the word from person to person isn't quick. There's lots of bands doing it that way - take a look on epitonic and soundclick, for example. (Or CDBaby) - lots of non-label bands to pick from. What ones sell millions of copies/downloads? Mostly the ones marketed by labels. Why? Are they that much better? Probably not (although sometimes the sound quality of the professional recording helps) - I've found some great independant music that's at least as good as the best from the labels to my ear. It's getting the information out that drives it - whether its' the physical CD into the record store, or the information that there's a new release on [insert favorite download store name] that drives the mass market.

    As long as marketing is needed, the labels will continue to exist, and rake in the majority of the profits - they're the ones taking more of the risk by the initial cash outlay.

     

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      Bruce from Bethesda, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 1:01pm

      Agreed

      Yeah, my website rocks and so does my music...yet I've sold 18 albums in the past 6 months...man am I hungry.
      - Bruce

      Your right. But we are not the "general" population. Peole are interesting animals, we are not only just creatues of habit but also creatures of convenience.

      Average Joe: I've always bought CD's so why stop now? Yeah, there a little more expensive now, but what isn't? iTunes is cool, I'll start using that...sweet, it works great with my iPod, life is good. Gosh I love pop, just like what is on the top 40s station. Wait, you want me to try to find new stuff off the web? Who are these people, have I heard of them? Oh well...back to listening to the radio and watching MTV for my "new music"

      Techdirt User: RIAA sucks, screw them. I'll go find alternative music sources...(tracks down bands he/she likes) sweet no DRM!

      Big Label: Hmm, there are all of these 10's of hundreds maybe thousands of techdirt people wanting a revolution, they want us to change our business model (our precious)...hmm, nah we'll stick to the millions of average joe's out there, they don't really seem to care.

       

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        DWBjr, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 1:12pm

        Re: Agreed

        Bruce from Bethesda - "hmm, nah we'll stick to the millions of average joe's out there, they don't really seem to care."

        There you go speaking truth again, Bruce. Don't you realize nobody's listening to that stuff? It's too hard to handle, even though its the only ride from here to where we want to go. Money talks, BS walks. I question whether the average TechDirt user petitions his senator on a regular basis. Why we let the Christian Coalition have all the fun, I'll never know. If I million people yell into a bottomless pit, they're still a silent majority, by virtue of "direction" alone.

         

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    so in a way, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 6:48am

    Sony is actually pirating and distributing music

     

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    dave, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 7:12am

    Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong t

    >>It's neither. Unlike a CD sale, a download is almost 100% profit.


    itunes loses about 23 cents to credit card company processing fees and, 65 cents to paying record label royalties. the rest is profit for apple. small margins for apple if you ask me.

    source (new york times): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/27/technology/27scene.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


    another tid-bit of info: it costs less than 15 cents to mass-produce a CD... and i still dont see any albums for under $10 :(
    this is rediculous.

     

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      ehrichweiss, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 8:13am

      Re: Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wro

      "itunes loses about 23 cents to credit card company processing fees"

      I hope that was supposed to read "2-3 cents" because the surcharge is only about 3 percent, AFAIK. You couldn't afford to stay in business if the credit card companies charged 23 percent for processing fees.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 1:37pm

      Cheap CDs ARE out there

      Try the Classical Music section. Lots of great content from the world's greatest orchestras, soloists, and conductors, and many discs are available for $7, $5, and less. I've even seen as low as $1. Guess those old, dead composers aren't getting any of their royalties! Heck, we're not even sure where all of them are buried. (Don't get any clever ideas, Rap Industry!)

       

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    Dewey, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 7:56am

    I haven't seen the numbers on this in a few years, but last time I checked, your average major label artist was paid 12 cents per song per album, up to ten songs (So if your albums has 22 tracks, you're only getting paid for 10 of them every time a copy sells). Obviously, that's not across the board.... Madonna or Metallica make more, some no name artists prob'ly make less. Anyway, 4.5 cents per song online vs. 12 cents per song in Best Buy? Yikes. Glad I'm not a rock star...

     

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    antarctica, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 8:49am

    Indies can do it

    Take a look at the Artic Monkeys, they didn't need a huge label to sell their music. They even Gave it away on the internet and sells of their CDs were Still beyond expectation even though the album was offered for free download a week prior to it's release. They are currently with an indipendant label, Sony not wanted here, move along...

     

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    hexjones, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 9:08am

    There are royalties, which aren't much. Then there are the publishing and mechanical licencing fees.

    The writer and publisher are really the ones who profit from CDs. They get a cut from every song and every broadcast. If the artist is not the writer and/or publisher they really miss out.

     

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    Overcast, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 9:23am

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    They didn't already expect to get screwed by the music labels and the RIAA.

    LOL, that's funny....

     

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    TheToe, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 10:19am

    Re: Sony has it right, the artists have it wrong

    Hey Dave, "another tid-bit of info: it costs less than 15 cents to mass-produce a CD" Who does it cost? The record company or the manufacturer or the artist? All of these folks have to be paid. The raw material cost my be .15 but the reality is once the bills are paid it costs approx$1.25 per copy. The people who do the art/layout also have to be paid. That's all part of the cost of doing business.

     

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    RJL, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Who the hell are these artists?

    How is it that they get away with getting payed perpetually for work done once. They spend a year in a studio and get payed for that year time and time again. Screw that. Im a software developer and I dont get payed everytime someone installs the software I write. Maybe if we got rid of this work and hour get payed a lifetime we would have better art out there. Musicians and actors would need to put their best foot forward every time or they would be out of a job. There would be less one-hit wonders cause you couldnt just get rich of off a 2 hour high in which you scribbled some junk on a piece of toilet paper. Screw royalties. (Or maybe Im just jealous)

     

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      Yep your jealous, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Who the hell are these artists?

      First of all, will you sofware still be useful 2,10,20 years from now? Probably not. Second, your saying you don't write code by jotting stuff down on tp while on a 2 hour high? Amateur.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 1:46pm

      Re: Who the hell are these artists?

      Probably just jealous.

      But seriously, royalties are the way to do it. We're fine with you getting a cut of every purchase of your software, but you'll need to stay "in the loop" for upgrades and patches for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, artists are free to leave the crap right there on the recording! Someone out there will find it appealing and purchase it. So much for mass marketing. It's all in the numbers.

       

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      Asiaerotica.com, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 10:32pm

      Re: Who the hell are these artists? Jealousy?

      Well as I see it ...You ARE jealous. If you were a significant writer of software and able to make a better deal for your self you WOULD get paid everytime someone installs your software (isnt that how Microsoft makes it's billions?) ..until it was no longer useful.. apparently after writing a hit 13 years ago, people still want my software... Better learn to write music instead of code... cause code can be written by any programmer ...Hits apparently can't be written by anyone with an instrument.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 11:10pm

      Re: Who the hell are these artists?

      Yes you do get paid. Every time someone buys your software. You write it once. If 2 years later someone buys it, you still get paid.

      No you don't get paid for reinstalls, but you may charge for media replacement and I am sure you charge more than a cd for it if your software is worth anything.

       

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      r0g, May 14th, 2007 @ 8:02am

      Re: Who the hell are these artists?

      RJL, why are you not getting paid every time someone installs your software?? It seems you're working for the man, which is what happens when you make the economic climate so harsh that people feel they can't risk working for themselves. Your suggestion would lead to ONLY bland commercial manufactured music getting produced. Maybe you are just jealous, but the best way to deal with that is to dump the wage slavery, start your own software company and start getting paid royalties of your own! ;-)

      r0g

       

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    jdw242, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 2:04pm

    check is in the mail

    I know, bypass the label and mail $1 to the artist.
    So what if the song costs $1.99; the artist knows that pleasing the consumer is better than making sure the C level staff's golden parachute is growing.

     

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    cc, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Artist Royalties - Solution

    Artists can distribute their music for next to nothing on Snocap - www.snocap.com. Big five labels are signed - fabulous exposure.

     

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    Patrick, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 11:45pm

    RIAA is twofaced

    A quote from the mp3.com artical:

    "The case hinges on whether a digital download is comparable to a sale of a CD, as the labels contend, or more on par with a license of a song for use on a movie soundtrack, for example, as the artists claim."

    Let me get this right, the lables justify DRM by saying they are licensing the music to consumers but when they are dealing with artist contracts, it is a sale. I hope the artists recognise this and nail the RIAA to the wall in court.

     

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    Chris Taylor, Apr 28th, 2006 @ 11:53pm

    What is going on here ?

    Let me get this straight Just One Guy?

    Artist ? Creator and OWNER of the music (usually)

    Label. Company that creates a biased one sided monopoly so they can make biased one side indentured servitude contracts want to sell ARTISTS music and let me get this straight.

    You think the label deserves a larger profit than the Artist of the music ?

    How in the world can you brain create such a thought ?

    So if I write a book and get a publisher to make it once you subtract actual costs and have nothing but profit left you think the publisher should get MORE of it than me the writer of the book ?

    are you ACTUALLY trying to say that this is how it should be ?

    Only one type of person could come up with such insane flawed logic - a label.

    Its DISGUSTING that artsists basically get NOTHING from CD sales.

    1 million CD sold for 18 million dollars

    Artist cut ? 40k ?? Label Cut 14-15million ?

    You REALLY think thats fair ???

    Man what TWISTED sadistic world were you born in.

    Oh thats right THIS sadistic twisted world.

    Chris Taylor
    http://www.nerys.com/

     

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    Doobie, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 9:01am

    Stupid

    This whole debate is why I stopped paying for music. Support the artists my *ss when the majority of the money goes to the record label anyway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2006 @ 9:07am

    Why should the record label recieve ANY of the money from a digital download? The album/song has already been recorded, album art already created, there is no physical media to produce, Apple provides server storage and the entire infrastructure for commerce. There's really nothing the label needs to do at all except deliver the AAC file for distribution. Just about anyone can email that to Apple. No need for executives there.

    As soon as Apple opens up iTunes for bands to submit their tracks themselves (rather than labels) watch the floodgates open and cause the instant demise of record lables as we know them! Instant global distribution.

     

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    mthorn, Apr 30th, 2006 @ 11:35pm

    I pay napster $10 a month to listen to just about anything I want, big and small artists. How does that fit into distribution rights?

     

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    Concerned consumer, May 17th, 2006 @ 10:03am

    STOP STEALING FROM ARTISTS!!!!

    Can you go to Ford, and tell them hey your car is too expensive, so I'll just drive it off the lot for you no sweat!! Same with any other industry!!! Stop stealing from artists whether the music is good, crappy, of whatever. Some of these artists are depending wholly on their career, and ever penny counts for them! Look at the guy above me, who has is right!!

     

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    Indie Musician, Aug 9th, 2006 @ 12:14pm

    Sad to Say, Labels Are Needed in 2006

    I'm a musician in a touring band from the midwest. We pay for our own CD replication, our own advertising, our own United States touring, and you know, we could REALLY use a label for support. The extra money that we get from receiving 100% of the profits from CD sales, etc., is simply put all towards advertising and touring expenses. Basically, you walk away with nothing, because all the money earned goes to fund the next expense on the band's list. With a label, we would receive an advance (which has to be paid back), national (if not international) distribution, many promos that are far beyond our budget, we would secure a notable booking agency, and we would have fair opportunity to receive radio play and get on movie soundtracks. I guess my point is, you can only do so much yourself. Record labels should work to a band's advantage. It is up to a great entertainment lawyer and the band to make sure they are getting what they want. Today, I can almost gaurantee iTunes is brought up before bands ink the deal.

     

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    Overcast, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 8:03am

    Of course, the record industry exists to screw the artists, screw the consumer, and anyone else.

    As long as they make a buck.... they don't care.

     

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    tech, Apr 11th, 2007 @ 10:50pm

    ok but,

    Its time for these artists to rid themselves of the labels. Sell your own music. Put your music on iTunes yourself. Tell those parasites in the RIAA to go fsck themselves.

     

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