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Scathing Article on Recording Industry

GUEST,Gmaj 15 Jun 00 - 02:38 PM
Kim C 15 Jun 00 - 03:09 PM
Hollowfox 16 Jun 00 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Mrr 16 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Mrr 16 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Mrr-confused 16 Jun 00 - 10:10 AM
Whistle Stop 16 Jun 00 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 19 Jun 00 - 02:44 PM
Jim the Bart 19 Jun 00 - 06:42 PM
Grab 20 Jun 00 - 09:24 AM
Kim C 20 Jun 00 - 12:21 PM
MK 20 Jun 00 - 12:51 PM
Frankham 20 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM
Grab 21 Jun 00 - 06:59 AM
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Subject: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: GUEST,Gmaj
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 02:38 PM

Courtney Love does the Math


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 03:09 PM

I didn't get to read the whole entire thing yet but what I saw was pretty interesting. It ties into an article in today's Tennessean about a new country singer who has had a pretty good hit but still living in a double-wide trailer because he's busy paying back the record company for making his album.

I really believe that independent artists, who have already begun to make a big push in the industry, will be the rule rather than the exception within the next few years, thanks to technological advances which are now available to average Jane and Joe. Mister and I just made our first tape, and thanks to the generosity of friends, all we had to pay for was the manufacturing. We don't owe anybody anything, and I own all my stuff. If I have to start my own label and publishing company, I will do that. And I think more people will too, as time goes on.

The record companies are getting nervous because the artists don't have to rely on them so much anymore.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Hollowfox
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 09:41 AM

Thank Heaven that small independent recording companies exist, that they make the music I like, and that I know about them.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM

I can only beg to differ on one, albeit major, point: Publishers own the copyright for what they publish, not the authors. Pick up any of our books (I work for a major publisher) and it says Copyright Us, not Copyright Them. It's only when we put a book OUT OF PRINT that we return copyright to the author. In fact, an author has to have our permission (duh, we always grant it) to use material from one edition in writing a new edition of the same book. Record companies ought to do the same - if they are no longer going to produce the record, the (c) should go back to the artists. But when you hire a publisher to print your book, or a record company to press your record (or whatever they do with them nowadays), copyright privileges are granted to the industry. We are who gets paid every time someone wants to copy a portion of a book, not the author. Authors who choose not to like that are free to publish their own books as soon as they can afford to run a printing press, pay editors, pay artists for the cover design and so on and so on. There is a lot of work that goes into making a book, I am sure that just as much goes into making a record; more, probably, with today's technology. The record copmanies are paying through the nose for all that technology. And yes, the industry isn't there for generosity, but profit, and yes they make more than the artists, but they also spend a lot more than an artist can afford to, and copyright privileges are one thing that costs.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 10:06 AM

I can only beg to differ on one, albeit major, point: Publishers own the copyright for what they publish, not the authors. Pick up any of our books (I work for a major publisher) and it says Copyright Us, not Copyright Them. It's only when we put a book OUT OF PRINT that we return copyright to the author. In fact, an author has to have our permission (duh, we always grant it) to use material from one edition in writing a new edition of the same book. Record companies ought to do the same - if they are no longer going to produce the record, the (c) should go back to the artists. But when you hire a publisher to print your book, or a record company to press your record (or whatever they do with them nowadays), copyright privileges are granted to the industry. We are who gets paid every time someone wants to copy a portion of a book, not the author. Authors who choose not to like that are free to publish their own books as soon as they can afford to run a printing press, pay editors, pay artists for the cover design and so on and so on. There is a lot of work that goes into making a book, I am sure that just as much goes into making a record; more, probably, with today's technology. The record copmanies are paying through the nose for all that technology. And yes, the industry isn't there for generosity, but profit, and yes they make more than the artists, but they also spend a lot more than an artist can afford to, and copyright privileges are one thing that costs. Just setting the record straight...


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: GUEST,Mrr-confused
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 10:10 AM

Very strange, it posted twice with a variation, Joe you can delete the first post if you want to...


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 12:15 PM

GuestMrr makes an important point. But at this point all of the tools of production are coming within reach of the artist -- from recording right through to manufacturing, if you like. If you want to run off a lot of copies of your latest CD, it still makes sense to deliver your master to an outside company to get it done. But you shouldn't have to sign over the rights to anything -- it's a simple job for hire, more involved but essentially no different from bringing your concert flyers or mailers down to the local photocopy shop. So "ownership" of your material shouldn't be a major concern, as long as you don't sign anything without reading (and understanding) it first.

The big corporations still have the edge when it comes to distribution networks; they can get their stuff into the stores, and from there to a wider audience than might be available to the do-it-yourself artist. That's the next hurdle, but individual artists are making inroads there, too. It's going to be exciting to see how this develops over the next few years.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 02:44 PM

Here is a talk by Beau Brashares which makes many of the same points Courtney Love makes.

I disagree with the implication in Ms. Love's talk that Orrin Hatch is, and Sonny Bono was, friendly to all artists. These two lawmakers are copyright maximalists who by their actions have expressed contempt for the public domain, the intellectual commons on which folk musicians rely. Orrin Hatch's view of copyright law is not "progressive". Rather, his views recall the London Stationers' monopoly and the Star Chamber.

T.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 06:42 PM

Same as it ever was.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Grab
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 09:24 AM

Isn't this all rather old news? The indie bands/labels worked this out 10-15 years ago. Admittedly they all tended to be the same kind of music (hence the genre's now called indie music), but anyway. And various musicians (Dave Stewart for one) have got their own record labels to do right by the artists. So why don't more artists read the small print instead of getting sucked into punitive licensing deals?

I know the situation still exists, and I think the fact that the record labels can do it is worrying, but to make out like it's only just become common knowledge is a bit strange.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 12:21 PM

That's true, Grab..... buyer beware, so to speak.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: MK
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 12:51 PM

I read the article and the comments here.

The one question that permeates my thinking is, if the deal she signed off on is so bad, what the hell is she paying her management 20% for?

This is precisely the kind of thing management should be advising her on, and, negotiating a better deal for her and the band. Sadly, some managers are intimidated by record companies and lofty "record deals" offered, and in the end they serve only their own greedy interests at the expense of the act, doing all the work.

As I understand it, it is precisely the job of management to look out for the bands' interest and negotiate the very best deal offered, especially, if there is a bidding war involved to sign the act.


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Frankham
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 06:38 PM

The point of the article challenges the way the major record companies do business. They are not known for their concern for quality product. 20% for a manager is OK I guess if they are really doing their job. My question is that in the case of a new artist, what is their incentive? They are not going to get that artist placed with a major label today.

In dealing with major companies, the new artist has no bargaining position whatever. They are entirely expendable and at the mercy of the label. The manager if he is unscrupulous, which many are, has an incentive to get a bad deal with a new artist. The manager loses very little if the artist doesn't make it. All that is required is for the manager to have the signature on the dotted line. If for some fluke the artist happens to click, than the investment has paid off.

The basic problem is the mentality of the artist who enters the pop music jungle. They are naive and want something for nothing. By this I mean, they want to play the game by their rules. They expect the label to bend over backwards for them just because they are signed. The carrot that is held over their head is that they might build a massive audience. The solution is not to play the game in the first place. There is an old industry saying "a % of nothing is nothing". But there's the added saying "a % of nothing is preferable to owing a large % to the company." Remember about owing your soul to the Company Store? Merle Travis knew what he was talking about.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Scathing Article on Recording Industry
From: Grab
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 06:59 AM

But the situation's been around like forever. I have to say, if someone's looking at making a living off recording their music and they've not heard about this yet, they're terminally thick and deserve all they get. And if they sign up for it knowing that's the way it works - well, if you stick your arm in the lion's mouth, don't complain if you get bitten. If artists didn't sign these kind of deals, then the record companies wouldn't be able to keep going with those conditions, but if they've got a steady stream of suckers ready to sign over their souls in exchange for airplay, then why should they change their methods?

Sorry Courtney, I admit the situation sucks, but you got yourself in there in the first place. If you don't like it then set up your own indie label, or join an existing indie label. As Frank says, if you don't play the game then they can't hold this over you.

Incidentally, what previously kept most bands going was fees from performing - money from recordings is a relatively new concept. Profits from tours organised by the artists go to the artists, not to the record company, so the answer is to PLAY MORE LIVE MUSIC. If they can't be bothered to (or just plain can't) play live, then my sympathy runs very thin.

Grab.


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