Edwyn Collins Can't Give Away His Music Thanks To MySpace, Warner Music
from the thanks-guys dept
At the beginning of this year I noticed that Edwyn's myspace had gone bit wonky and I tried to upload the tracks back on to the music player. His most famous track, which he owns the copyright in, as he does for most of the music he's recorded in his life (preferring to go it alone than have his music trapped "in perpetuity" to use the contract language of the major record company) is called A Girl Like You. It's quite famous. Lo and behold, it would not upload, I was told Edwyn was attempting to breach a copyright and he was sent to the Orwellian myspace copyright re-education page. Quite chilling, actually. I naturally blew my stack and wrote to myspace on his behalf demanding to know who the hell was claiming copyright of Edwyn's track? Which, incidentally, he always made freely available for download on myspace, something which amazed his followers. Eventually, after HUGE difficulty, I was told Warner Music Group were claiming it. I found a nice lawyer guy at Warners, very apologetic, promised to get it sorted, but all these months later it isn't. That is because Myspace are not equipped to deal with the notion that anyone other than a major can claim a copyright. Warner's were one of the lead petitioners in the attempt to put those three stoner lads in Sweden in prison recently, remember.Meanwhile, the song which Collins wants to give away, but cannot, is being sold all over the internet... but not by Collins. Instead, it's by major labels who have no right to do so, according to Collins' manager:
A Girl Like You is available FOR SALE all over the internet. Not by Edwyn, by all sorts of respectable major labels whose licence to sell it ran out years ago and who do not account to him. Attempting to make them cease and desist would use up the rest of my life. Because this is what they do and what they've always done.Wait... major labels... selling a song they don't have the right to, and not giving any of the money back to the artist? That seems a hell of a lot worse than just sharing a song for non-commercial reasons, doesn't it?
Meanwhile, Collins has no problem with the sharing of bootlegs:
Andrew Loog Oldham said that getting ripped off (by the industry) was your entrance fee to the music business of the sixties, so get over it. He's right and things have not changed. We are very over it, but nonetheless aware of who the biggest bootleggers around are. It's not the filesharers. Personally, we've always loved bootlegs. Even when Edwyn was really skint at the fag end of the eighties, I remember being in Camden market and seeing some tapes of a couple of his shows on sale. I tried to buy them but the stallholder somehow knew who I was and said "free to the management." I failed to see how that guy selling tapes of Edwyn or even U2 or anybody on the list of signatories above could harm their career.And... then at the end, she's got a nice little message for the Featured Artist Coalition and its silly petition to try to stop file sharing:
The gig's up. You might as well take a position about when you want the sun to come up in the morning. It's over. Now let's get on with working out a wonderful new way for music lovers to enjoy music for free or for a small subscription that makes it legal and easy to hear ANYTHING and allows the artist to reap the rewards of such freedom of access. Viva la revolucion!