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You're So Vain... I Bet You Think Starbucks' Decision To Get Out Of The Music Biz Was All About You

from the singing-a-new-tune dept

Last year, we wrote about singer Carly Simon's decision to sue Starbucks for not promoting her album enough. As you may recall, Starbucks, for a little while, tried to get into the music business by building on its success in selling a few CDs in stores and trying to start its own record label. The company invested heavily in its Hear Music subsidiary, but the results weren't very good, and about a year later it dumped the plan. In the interim, however, it did release a few albums, including one by Paul McCartney. Carly Simon had also signed on, but the label shut down five days before her album came out. She claims that because of this, she suffered greatly, and went on to sue. Of course, there seemed to be a lot of holes in the argument. First of all, she still sold a ton of albums, and the company had given her a huge advance (over half a million). On top of that, this could have happened with any record label.

In April, the judge tossed out the dispute, pointing out that Simon's actual deal was with Hear Music, the subsidiary, and not Starbucks. Unable to leave things alone, Simon has filed an amended suit, claiming that Starbucks misrepresented how much it would promote the album. But, once again, record labels change promotional strategies for albums all the time. On top of that, these days, it seems like any musician should realize that much of the promotional effort on new albums really falls on the artist themselves, rather than their labels. Blaming the label may seem like an easy target, but it's a stretch to then claim they had some legal obligation in terms of how the album was promoted.

Filed Under: carly simon, contracts, music
Companies: starbucks

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2010 @ 2:50pm

    techdirt going to save carly simon now? of course, the techdirt way is always better!

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