A lot of people have been retweeting and scoffing about the guy from Too Much Joy‘s rant about his Warner Bros. Royalty Statement. Read the whole thing. It’s awesome. Basically a 2009 update to Steve Albini‘s “Problem With Music” article.
The summary: After years of bugging his former label for a royalty statement that included digital earnings, they finally sent him one that claimed the band’s three major label releases had earned a total of $62.47 over five years. The dude now works for Rhapsody so he knows for a fact that this is blatantly wrong. So the people at the label basically admitted that they don’t really keep track of the numbers for unrecouped bands (TMJ still “owes” the label $395,214.71).
But here’s the thing that I haven’t heard anybody talking about: Sure, to label executives “$10,000 is nothing.” That’s fine, they’re rich, whatever. But it would only take 40 of those $10,000 accounting errors for a band like Too Much Joy to actually recoup. But if the labels aren’t even counting the income for the unrecouped bands, of course they’re never going to recoup. There’s no way to recoup if nobody’s even counting the income!
It’s high time for a huge class action lawsuit from all the thousands of unrecouped bands like Too Much Joy. Bands could skip the labels’ accounting departments and go straight to iTunes, Rhapsody, etc. Find out how much those services have paid out so they can make sure they’re getting their fair share.
Video: Too Much Joy – “Crush Story”
FTC Disclosure: Glorious Noise didn’t receive a damn thing from the artist, label, or publicist for writing this.