So How Much Of The $90 Million Pandora Is Paying RIAA Labels To Settle Lawsuit Will Go To Artists?

from the we're-waiting... dept

This isn’t a huge surprise, but following Sirius XM settling the lawsuit filed against it by the RIAA labels over playing pre-1972 sound recordings, Pandora has now done the same, agreeing to pay $90 million to have the lawsuit go away. In both cases, the companies recognized that, while the law was unclear and some lawsuits had gone both ways, it was probably a lot easier in the long run to just pay up than face the uncertainty and the possibility of much larger fees. Of course, both companies do still face some individual lawsuits, such as the ones by Flo & Eddie (the company behind The Turtles) who kicked off this lawsuit craze.

But… there is still a big question. As with pretty much any of these lawsuits filed by the RIAA or MPAA and its members, when they come to a settlement, how much of that money actually gets passed along to the individual creators? In the past, the answer has been slim to none with vague answers about how the money would go into some general pool, and the answer may be similar here. Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter did the heavy lifting, and got the slightly vague answers from the labels:

For example, will the proceeds of the settlement be shared by the major labels with their recording artists? What share? Upon a request for comment, an RIAA spokesperson said it was a question best directed towards the labels themselves. We’ve reached out. According to a Sony insider, the label intends to share proceeds in the standard way, analogous to how money from SoundExchange is shared. The source acknowledges that the mechanism is still being worked out. Another source says that Universal intends to process money directly through SoundExchange, a digital royalty collection outfit. A Warner Music spokesperson says the “the artist share [is] being distributed through SoundExchange.”

So, they’re basically passing the buck to SoundExchange, which handles royalties for Pandora and other digital streaming services, and has an unfortunate history of not being able to find the artists it’s supposed to be paying (though, it’s been much better in the past few years). But, even so, it’s not clear how SoundExchange will divvy up the money, and how much will just be going directly back to the labels themselves.

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Companies: pandora, riaa, soundexchange

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Comments on “So How Much Of The $90 Million Pandora Is Paying RIAA Labels To Settle Lawsuit Will Go To Artists?”

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38 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Well, if it's ONE CENT, that's more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!

Populist slant of taking digs at the fat cats doesn’t work for you because you’re just faking it. You don’t actually want to see the artists get a cent. You didn’t care beans when the artists were being shafted by sleazy grifters using their products to get the millions they’re now handing over. I bet you even admire those grifters for their “innovation”, just as you admire greasy blob Kim Dotcom.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well, if it's ONE CENT, that's more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!

I don’t usually agree with you, but you’re right about this.

When it’s pirates downloading illegally, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid. When Pandora or Sirius XM publicly perform their works, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid. When Kim Dotcom runs one of the hugest piracy websites on the planet, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid.

But when they finally are going to get paid, he all of sudden “cares” about how much, attacking the very people who work hard to make sure they get paid.

What a disingenuous prick. Seriously. I can think of no person more dishonest in the entire IP world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Well, if it's ONE CENT, that's more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!

When it’s pirates downloading illegally, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid. When Pandora or Sirius XM publicly perform their works, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid. When Kim Dotcom runs one of the hugest piracy websites on the planet, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid.

Yeah, he doesn’t care about artists getting paid at all… except for all those articles he’s written about helping artists get paid:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091119/1634117011/future-music-business-models-those-who-are-already-there.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120210/02273417726/how-being-more-open-human-awesome-can-save-anyone-worried-about-making-money-entertainment.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120601/01173819160/amanda-palmer-raises-12-million-kickstarter-crowd-goes-wild.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20130510/00083123031/cool-new-platform-supporting-artists-patreon-jack-conte.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20130401/03115322523/macklemore-explains-why-not-being-label-helped-him-succeed.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20130328/16411922505/successful-self-published-ebook-authors-sells-print-movie-rights-1-million-keeps-digital-rights-to-himself.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20130324/01115322434/musician-alex-day-explains-how-he-beat-justin-timberlake-charts-basically-just-via-youtube.shtml

What a disingenuous prick.

So, not only are you wrong, but you feel the need to insult people too.

Fascinating.

Londo Mollari (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well, if it's ONE CENT, that's more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!

Why don’t you go and pester someone else, you moon-faced assassin of joy? Or better yet, go find a nice, hungry Na’ka’leen Feeder and let it suck out your brain. Not that there would be much for it to feed on, I think. You, Blue, are not even in the same galaxy as the truth, much less in the approximate vicinity of it. Those collection agencies you say work so hard to get artists paid only make sure they themselves are paid. The artists don’t matter to them one bit, I assure you.

Entertainment industry mathematics always works out in favor of the middlemen, unfortunately. You might as well remove your eyes, Blue, as blind as you already are. Though perhaps you are paid to be that way. It would seem to be the only reasonable explanation for your single-minded defense of organizations which are nothing more than leeches upon society, much like those pesky Keepers, I think. No one here listens to you or believes you, Blue, so do us both a favor and take your thoughtless parroting somewhere else, yes?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 love/hate relationship?

out_of_the_blue already made it clear that he doesn’t, or outright refuses to read anything posted here. It’s so he can complain about content he… doesn’t… read.

Nina Paley wasn’t kidding when she said copyright is brain damage. We’ve got a specimen in the flesh right here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Well, if it's ONE CENT, that's more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!

“When it’s pirates downloading illegally, Mike doesn’t care that artists aren’t getting paid.”

First of all artists have hardly ever made money from royalties. Most of their money has always come from touring.

Secondly even if I don’t think that copy protection laws should exist at all that is not the same as saying that artists shouldn’t get paid for their work. It is their responsibility to find a way to get paid and to find a business model that works for them and not the government’s.

But when a record label promotes copy protection laws claiming that it’s to ensure that artists get paid, when they collect money allegedly for the sake of distributing it to artists, and when they keep it for themselves then that tells me they don’t care about artists but they only care about their own bottom line. They are taking money from music listeners and not giving it to artists. There is nothing wrong with music listeners freely downloading music and infringing (that’s the natural order of things, copy protection laws are a privilege and not a right and copy protection laws do not or at least should exist to right a wrong because there is nothing wrong with infringement, they should only exist to promote the progress and serve a public interest) but when some intermediary says that he’s collecting money for artists and doesn’t give the money to the artists why should I believe that he is collecting that money for the artists or that he even cares about the artists in his push to defend copy protection laws?

Finally copy protection laws (as stated above) should not be about the artists. They should not be about implementing your perverted definition of ‘fairness’. They should only be about the public interest. That you have twisted them into making them about the artists (or distributors who anyone else) is a very good reason I want these laws abolished. No one is entitled to copy protection laws.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Well, if it's ONE CENT, that's more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!

“Well, if it’s ONE CENT, that’s more than they got or were ever going to from Pandora or Sirius!”

Well, apart from the money they do pay regularly, and the huge amount of other income left in the table due to regional licensing that leaves them unable to service most of the planet. But, you keep lying, that works to get that money back on the table, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

This is the reason why music studios should be forced to close up shop and why music artists should stop producing music for these studios.

Recording artists and bands should just produce their own music and distribute it themselves because rarely does the money that is collected by these organizations like SoundExchange, ASCAP and the RIAA distribute those funds evenly to those artists who created that music.

It’s nothing but a scam.

How much you want to bet that the money is going to go to newer recording artists who bring in more money than it will to those artists and groups of those pre-1970’s artists.

Anon E. Mous (profile) says:

With the labels history of wacky accounting much like the movie industry has the same accounting issues, I believe the artists will get next to nothing.

How many times have artists sued their labels due to not getting their fair share of profits from their music. The labels like to have control of the money and they are very loathe to give it up, history has proven that.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve been saying for a long time that downloading, streaming whether it’s legal or not is the same to most people or however access to media content is obtained outside of traditional sources could be considered another forum or civil disobediance.

Most bands get anywhere from ten cents to a dollar for an album or song bought through digital music services and for movies, I’m not sure what the sum is but it would be nice if the rental fee or movie ticket $ and have downloaders, illegal streamers mail the sums directly to the band, director, favorite actor, artists with a note saying they’d rather pay direct.

Not everyone would do it, but quite a few would. It’s not about the money with three hundred to six hundred $ phones and home entertainment centers, and include gaming since I know more with ps4 as a media server than used as a gaming device = another three hundred $. The actual “creators” of the work that’s been enjoyed would develop a clearer understanding of the bigger picture. Namely that they no longer have to pay seventy % or more for what amounts to meger “distribution”.

Every time I hear someone say “pay the artist by buying the work”, I’m not sure if I want to laugh or cry at their lame ignorance. No artist will get paid beyond leftover chump change, maybe and only that if their name is on the “A” list of ten to twenty artists, after lawyers and audits.

The days for innane licensing, burdensome geographical barriers and protection schemes may have worked in the fifties, but not now. If I hear someone from Israel or Norway that I like, I expect to buy their music and when I can’t, I am going to source it elsewhere. If I see about a movie from the el salvador or tv show from ireland that I want to watch and find it’s blocked, guess what.

I’ve paid for vinyls, cassettes, vhs, cd’s, dvd’s, sd and hd already. Because of lame rulings, my ability to back up media and share among my own devices and to my own family is hampered, cumbersome and unnecessarly tedious when I can obtain what I already own in a few seconds online. I didn’t make it that way. They did. Then I discover my right to back my media up in a cloud may also be threatened if I can’t prove I’m the owner of the copyright. The file doesn’t even have to be shared to be against TOS, such as amaon cloud or backblaze. The number one thing I needed to backup was my entertainment library. IMO these are my memories too.

But the idea that somehow “artist’s” or the creators are getting paid by criminal trade organizations that have somehow been granted regulatory powers by congress is absurd.

I don’t see why it would be unreasonable to have an accounting and audit done for the monies paid to riaa/mpa and I think that should be a required filing if they have used any public resource such as the doj or fbi in these cases. I know there have been class actions that the judge has monitored the distribution of funds, why not here too?

I personally would rather pay the artist’s directly.

Anonymous Coward says:

If history is any guide, the RIAA lawyers and accountants will be haggling for years with recording artists and song writers over the issue of sharing the $90 Million Pandora settlement — or should we say sharing whatever is left over after “Hollywood Accounting” works its magic.

In none of the previous lawsuits – Napster, Grokster, Kazaa, Limewire, etc. – were the exact financial distributions ever made public. One thing that was very public, however, was the acrimony between the the RIAA and the RAC (the Recording Artists Coalition) and National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA). RAC founder Don Henley and attorney Jay Rosenthal were not shy about talking to the press about their frustrations in dealing with the RIAA’s multi-year stonewalling.

Mike, instead of just wondering outloud, why not contact someone like Jay Rosenthal? As he has spent years in the very center of this issue, even a non-answer might be worth something.

http://www.msk.com/attorneys/Jay_Rosenthal

Anonymous Coward says:

Sirius XM and Pandora each gave that drunk out there fornicating in the dumpster, before relieving himself in the gutter, another case of rot gut, each, got it. As for the artists, they slept with their drunken master and their debt for that must be paid in full. I have no feelings for any of the parties involved. The only reason that money has any real value is because they think it does. All warfare is based on deception.

Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously says:

did they admit more than they meant?

Quote: “…the label intends to share proceeds in the standard way, …” “…the mechanism is still being worked out…”. This is an acknowlegdement that there is as yet no sharing mechanism in place and no sharing happening, a huge revelation from the obfuscatory platic disc lobby.

Dave (user link) says:

I know a lot about this

The labels are in fact the hiding money, misrepresenting the spins, trying to trademark the Artist’s name, hoping for the Artist to die or are using 50 year old contracts in order to not pay. I help artists who are in this situation. I am looking for the actual terms of the settlement though. If anyone has them, please reach out to me through my web site… Arms411.com
thx
David

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