Tag Archives: royalties

Major Labels: Dumb, Lazy, Evil, and Avaricious

BenjaminsA 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.

Continue reading Major Labels: Dumb, Lazy, Evil, and Avaricious

Morrissey Gets No Royalties

How I dearly wish I was not here...According to a post on fan site True To You, Morrissey would like it to be known that he “has not received a royalty from EMI since 1992” and “last received a royalty payment from Warners ten years ago.”

This comes in response to his former labels releasing some new vinyl box sets. The 7″ Singles ’88-’91, is due October 12 in the UK from EMI, and The HMV/Parlophone Singles ’91-’95 is due November 2. No US release is scheduled for those. Also, Warner/Rhino UK is releasing a box of the Smiths‘ four studio albums, remastered 180 gram vinyl (bundled with MP3s). But Moz was not consulted and does not approve.

Morrissey: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

The Smiths: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Continue reading Morrissey Gets No Royalties

Jay Bennett Sues Jeff Tweedy for Wilco Royalties

Well, this certainly isn’t going to help our case to get Wilco to re-hire Jay Bennett: Wilco Ex-Member Sues Jeff Tweedy For Royalties.

In the Washington Post‘s coverage of the lawsuit, they link to our 2002 interview with Bennett wherein he listed all of his contributions to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Update: Jim DeRogatis points out why Bennett needs the money: dude’s having hip replacement surgery. Ouch.

Update II: Tweedy responds in a statement to Paste:

“I know exactly as much as everyone else does. I’ve read the news and I honestly have no idea what these claims are based on. It was such a long time ago. Aside from everything else, I’m being sued for not paying someone for appearing in a movie I didn’t produce. Go figure. I am truly sad it has come to this. I am equally convinced, however, that I have done nothing wrong and that this will be handled fairly and swiftly.”

Update III: Chicagoist has the full text of the public filing.

MP3: Wilco – “Cars Can’t Escape” from the YHF sessions. (M4A too.)

Wilco: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

Joseph Byrd vs. Record Labels

“The only payments [record companies] make are to those who have the means to force them to be accountable; to the rest, a vast majority, they pay nothing… I personally would prefer to allow my music to be freely shared…” — Musician, Joseph Byrd on why he thinks his music should be freely downloaded.