Band Tells Fans To Boycott Its Albums, Saying Its Label Doesn't Pay

from the but-you-can-get-them-elsewhere dept

Over the years, record label Victory Records has worked up quite the… um…. reputation from artists it has signed. Let’s just say that a number of them are less than pleased. Reader Aaron points us to the latest such example, where the band Streetlight Manifesto has put up a, well, manifesto, asking fans to boycott its albums, because of an ongoing dispute with the label, who it claims isn’t passing along royalties owed:

We’re writing today to ask you to please boycott all Streetlight related items by not purchasing any of our records or merchandise from Victory’s website, any traditional CD stores, online third party retailers or any digital distribution service (iTunes, Amazon etc). Victory has a long-time reputation of pocketing all of the proceeds from a band’s music and merch, with shady accounting and generally bully-ish behavior. If you want to support Streetlight, our music and our ability to tour and continue to release music, please make all SM related purchases from our own webstore, The RISC Store (, or come out to a show and buy a shirt or cd from us directly. In regards to getting the music we make, you can buy directly from us, or, alternately, we’re sure you can find a way to get the tunes onto your computer that may not be, ahem, traditional… Speaking a Bit metaphorically, there is a Torrent of methods to accomplish this, and Google is your always loyal friend…

Yet another reminder that labels very often do not speak for, nor represent, the best interests of artists.

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Comments on “Band Tells Fans To Boycott Its Albums, Saying Its Label Doesn't Pay”

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fogbugzd (profile) says:

>>Always nice to see artists and bands keeping up to date with society and progress.

Musicians that I know are the ones most adept at getting music from lockers, torrents, direct sharing, and other methods.

It’s not too surprising, really. Most musicians near the leading edge are very keen on hearing what other musicians are doing. After all, everything really is a remix. A lot of stuff they are likely to be listening to is freely (and often legally) shared.

Anonymous Coward says:

But if you buy directly from the artist you’re just hurting the artists!

You see, if the artist gets too much money (as in any money) from their music sales they won’t be encouraged to create more music!

The artist will just spend all their time sleeping on piles on money, and complaining about making too much money come tax time! It may sound funny complaining about making too much money, but believe me, it’s no laughing matter when you have to pay over 30% of your income to uncle Sam!

Artists need good Samaritans like Victory Records to take the heavy sacrifice of dealing with these kinds of problems caused by making too much money!

Anonymous Coward says:


Yup, because they received money, which was part of their contract, they have absolutely no reason to think they’re owed the rest of the money in their contract. I mean how greedy can a band be, to want to actually get the money promised to them in a contract?!

They should just be happy that the almighty label granted them the privilege to make music.

Sneeje (profile) says:


The problem with this statement is that you can not go on to say that labels act in the best interests of the artist. If they did, they would be making certain a) they weren’t being taken advantage of via contractual terms, and b) they were getting paid timely for what they were owed.

Yes, artists need to take responsibility for their agreements, but I think we’d all agree that at the point the agreements are always signed, that the information and power advantage is massively in the label’s favor, leading to inequitable results.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's an idea...

How about an amendment to the law that says that if it is proven that contractors (ie. record labels in this case) are found guilty of breaching the contract via illegally withholding owed royalties, cooking the books to coverup royalties owed, etc. then the period for termination rights for the creator is shorten to now. That would stop this nonsense.

silverscarcat says:

Here's an idea...

Or we could just start a progressive simple tax on all copyrights…

1 dollar for year 1.
2 dollars for year 2.
4 dollars for year 3.
8 dollars for year 4.

By the time year 20 comes along, it’s over 500,000.
year 21 is over a million dollars.

You don’t pay the tax, the copyright in question instantly gets seized by the government and turned over to the public domain.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's an idea...

Mine idea is simpler and fair. You abuse a copyright, you can lose the copyright.

Hell why don’t we add to it while we are at it.

Prove that the label failed to promote it adequately (provided that the obligation to promote is in the contract because afterall WE unlike the record labels are FAIR) and the termination right is granted immediately as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

read the freaking contract - and stop whinning band..

someone should teach that band how to compose a CONTRACT, and inform them that THEY CHOSE that label. NO ONE held a gun to their head and forced them to enter into an agreement with that label..

someone should teach mansick that as well…

you know what ‘they’ say about idiots who do not read any contract they enter into. They have NO ONE to blame but themselves.

I guess the real reason, is that the band failed to meet it’s obligations, and are simply “JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH”.

Anonymous Coward says:


So Tony, are all these ‘hardcore’ bands composed of idiots ?

That both dont talk to each other, or to you !

Did VICTORY turn up at their garage during a jam session with guns and knives and by force make them sign a contract and give them some money ?

can you confirm that both parties met their contractual obligations ? that the band agreed too, and signed off on.

Anonymous Coward says:


obviously, labels act in the best interest of labels, that is their responsibility as a business, the bands obligation is to work in the best interest of the band. You form an agreement between the two groups for mutual benifit, and you lock that into a formal contract, that BOTH groups AGREE on.

If the band has failed in part of their contractual obligation, which is probably the case.

the label would have made it clear to the band that the payments contracted to pay would be contingent on sales of the music.

If the band failed to create music that is good enough to sell, no amount of promotion will change that.

you can flog a dead horse but you cant lead it to water, (or something). and make it drink !

clear, if people are not willing to pay for the music, the label is not going to piss money away trying to promote it, it appears that also the band is working contrary to their contract and trying to give their music away.. reducing their sales even further. not helping at all.

here is a clue, produce something people actually WANT !!!

Squirrel Brains (profile) says:

read the freaking contract - and stop whinning band..

Your response to this assumes many facts that are not in the record. Please, if you have information that would back up your claims, then provide it so that we all can understand the situation better. On what basis do you assume that the record label must be living up to their obligations?

If you believe in that idealistic view of contracting you are putting forward, you are either naive or have never been involved in contracting with parties of disparate power.

Torg (profile) says:


This isn’t a band getting pissy about a lack of sales. They aren’t getting paid for their sales. The label has failed to meet its contractual obligation to give the band money for sales that actually happened. That is the problem, not advertising. People are willing to pay for the music, but none of their payment is going to the artist. I could keep rephrasing it any number of different ways if this concept is too complicated for you.

Anonymous Coward says:

read the freaking contract - and stop whinning band..

So there’s evidence the label isn’t living up to their end of the contract and your response is that the band didn’t write the contract well enough and that, in spite of having no evidence to back it up what-so-ever, that the band is the one failing to meet it’s obligations?

Zacqary Adam Green (profile) says:


They’re not even saying you can torrent it. They’re implying it, but not saying it. It’s like getting around a gag order by saying, for example, “I’m not allowed to talk about my settlement with Acme Inc., so on a completely unrelated note, once upon a time there was a big corporation called Shmacme Shmincorporated, and (etc.)”

They can lawyer their way out of that easily.

Anonymous Coward says:


I will boycott them for telling people to break the law. In fact I am going to set up a web site expressly to boycott Streetlight Music. Then I will start a campaign to stop illegal file sharing sites and encourage others to join my crusade against piracy. Maybe we could offer rewards for those who turn people in for pirating content.

Chargone (profile) says:


not a lawyer, but to the best of my knowledge the ones actually breaking the law are responsible, but depending on the instructions and law in question the one giving the instructions may get done for conspiracy to commit, or for being an accessory, or some other similar thing that is technically a lesser crime but still gets them for their role in it.

unless they know, and cause profit for, the right people, of course. then those charges most likely never happen.

Ed C. says:


Or how about campaigning against sites that charge money for music they didn’t pay for? Can you think of anything lower than that? You could even offer rewards for those who turn people in for ripping off artist! These bandits should face cold hard prison terms for breaking the law. Maybe then, others will think twice about not paying artist the royalties they agreed to.

Anonymous Coward says:


That’s not how it works, Timmy. Big boss label continues ripping off its artists like normal and the people responsible won’t face the same punishments as the pirates. But be my guest with that law of yours. Arrest the owners of sites that “charge” (ask for money) for digital content without the consent of the “original creator”, and make this right non-transferrable so the musician has the final say. You’ll have to reform copyright a bit of course, but the money launderers will get sent to jail! Isn’t that great?

Bergman (profile) says:


And who is a pirate here, anyway?

The label holds the copyrights in exchange for money, their contract with the band spells this out. The label is not providing the money, so it’s strongly arguable the label doesn’t hold the copyrights either…the band does.

So if the copyright holder tells people to torrent the copyrighted works, that is in itself a legally-binding license to copy. No piracy there.

JMT says:


“obviously, labels act in the best interest of labels, that is their responsibility as a business…”

So why don’t the labels just come out and admit that, instead of lying about how they “support” artists?

“If the band has failed in part of their contractual obligation, which is probably the case.”

So you admit you actually have no idea, you’re just desperate to defend the labels’ shrinking position of power in the music industry.

Ask yourself what’s more likely. That the band is demanding royalties for sales that haven’t occurred, or that the label hasn’t paid them royalties owed for sales that did occur, as claimed. Given the well-documented history of labels’ treatment of artists, I’d say the latter is far more likely, wouldn’t you?

Ed C. says:


I guess reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, and satire is obviously beyond your grasp. Since I can’t draw you nice pictures, I’ll try to take it down to a level you’ll understand.

Labels sell copies of music.
Labels make money.
Labels agreed to give part of money to artists.
Labels use bad math to say money disappeared.

Get it?

Anonymous Coward says:

read the freaking contract - and stop whinning band..

Aww Darryl, I find it beyond hilarious that you wrote “you know what ‘they’ say about idiots who do not read…” and then wrote what you did.

Did you even read the article? Because it has nothing to do with the band’s contract. Here, let me put it as simply as possible for your mind (seeing as how you obviously did not take a reading comprehension class at any point in your life). THE LABEL IS NOT PAYING ON OWED ROYALTIES. End of story. Album sold. Band is waiting on royalties they’re owed. The label is not paying up.

This has literally nothing to do with, well “they didn’t read their contract, so they’re idiots”. Also, I’m not into the band or their style of music, but even I’ve heard of them. So obviously, for someone who is completely not into their music to know about them, they must be good enough to gain some fame and acknowledgment.

Darryl, seriously, if you’ve graduated from school, I want you to go back to every school you’ve ever been to and slap your English teachers. I don’t advocate violence, but if they passed you, and at whatever age you’re at you obviously show no signs of having learned a thing from them, then they deserve it.

Oh, and I’m only saying that, because of the “someone should teach masnick that as well” line. You seem to be quite quick to point out how others should be taught or what classes they apparently failed in school, well one good turn deserves another. And if you respond with, “Ah, I see so rather than address my points you resort to insults, how grown up of you.” I say, one good turn deserves another. It’s okay for you to do exactly that, but no one can do it to you? I see, here, I have a mirror for you to look into. Know what that is staring right back at you, a hypocrite. Hypocritus Darrylus it’s called. A new type, only recently, and most unfortunately for civilization, discovered.

Jesse Townley (profile) says:

Here's an idea...


If a contract is not being lived up to, then the signers have an option to terminate if the contract is not fulfilled.

A lot of times music contracts have a last-chance clause, along the lines of “if the terms aren’t being fulfilled, then the parties have 30 days after written notice of breach of contract to correct the breach” and then after that time period, the rights revert to the artist/licensor.

Our contracts have something like this, and I cannot imagine that Victory, who are a much larger, more business-like label, don’t have the same or stronger language.

Anonymous Coward says:


Hell, without being able to see actual statements from the label to the band, everyone here is speaking from a perspective of biased speculation. None of us have any idea of how many units this band has moved, nor are we privy to the details of their recording contract.

It’s similar to the recent Wale debacle. It would help his case a little more if WZRD wasn’t just absolutely terrible. If I were a label, I wouldn’t promote that garbage either.

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