Artists: Don't Expect To Get Paid For What Imeem & Snocap Owe You

from the sorry,-too-bad dept

We always hear the record labels and politicians screaming bloody murder over the concept that musicians aren’t being paid “what they’re owed” due to piracy — but when there’s a situation where musicians might actually not be getting paid what they’re owed? Silence. A few weeks back, MySpace “bought” Imeem in a fire sale. But, the details of the deal suggest they didn’t actually buy the company, but “certain assets,” which means they get to ignore the liabilities. Guess what those liabilities include? You got it: paying artists what they’re owed. Now, as the Wired article notes, there’s nothing technically wrong with MySpace acquiring just the assets, but it is notable that it’s the musicians left without getting paid what they’re actually owed (not some theoretical concept like what they might be “owed” due to unauthorized file sharing). And, yet, we don’t seem to hear any politicians or record labels screaming about this. Funny, since they keep insisting that they’re really just interested in helping artists…

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Companies: imeem, myspace, snocap

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Comments on “Artists: Don't Expect To Get Paid For What Imeem & Snocap Owe You”

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22 Comments
Lobo Santo's Ugly Ferret says:

Sadly, artist royalties are apparently NOT a primary liability, and likely will end up in the pool when the remaining shell is closed out and dispersed.

It’s the nature of the game. Why would you complain about this Mike, considering you are so against these royalty schemes to start with? Perhaps just because you can get an extra slam in on “the recording industry”?

Brooks (profile) says:

Re: Re: (I don't have a Ferret)

The company was on the verge of bankruptcy. And, after the sale of assets to MySpace, the company will be wound down, creditors paid pennies on the dollar, and equity holders most likely SOL. Office space will be vacated before the end of the lease. In dissolution, the contracts are void.

Now, there are plenty of nefarious people in the world, but if you think this was the plan all along (we’ll lose a ton of money and nose dive into bankruptcy so we can avoid paying artists), I’ve got some oceanfront land in Nebraska to sell you…

Lobo Santo's Ugly : says:

Re: Re: Re: (I don't have a Ferret)

It comes to the same thing: The site couldn’t exist illegally (not pay royalties) without legal issues, and it wasn’t a viable business model when paying royalties. It appears that MySpace would have mostly bought a brand and a customer base, because the business model didn’t work.

Michael (profile) says:

Interesting to watch

It will be interesting to watch this carefully. At some point, they may be forced to disclose exactly how much is owed and to whom.

It would not be shocking to find out they do not know who they owe. In fact, I think it would be shocking to find out they actually are accounting for who they owe money to and exactly how much they “should” be paying out. I hope they end up having to open their books a bit. We may find out the answer to the big question “Are these collection agencies inept at book-keeping, or do they know what they owe the artists and are actively ripping them off?”

Hephaestus (profile) says:

“especially when you consider that imeem’s payments to major labels helped drive it out of business in the first place.”

One of the sad things about this is, how this need to be paid now, to prevent any competition, and the general lack of interest and fear of being the first to implement something new, is going to be what causes the death of the labels. They should be hooking up with every music site they can, and not suing these music sites as a negotiating tactic to gain a greater leverage and profits. This again goes back to short term goals (profits) in the end this is ultimately self defeating as it leaves them with no outlets for the sales of their product.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Leaving artists holding the bag

I am missing something. When I was in law school, and so far as I know, still, it was a fraud on the creditors to sell the assets and thereby avoiding legitimate debts.

Perhaps we are saying “artists are wussies” (civil liabilities have to be enforced by the debt holder), or “the amounts owed were only anticipatory”, or “someone doesn’t know what they are talking about”, or ?????

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