Sony sued by artists for royalties due on digital downloads

I just posted the article Sony sued by artists for royalties due on digital downloads.

Looks like Sony is in the news again. Of course it’s a negative story as well. It seems there has been a lawsuit filed by the rock bands the Allmans and Cheap Trick, claiming that Sony is…

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OMG, sony is steaking $$$Musd from artists…‘those ip thieves are supporting terrorist’…i hope i could hear this from homeland security dept. of us, but i don’t think we will. when teenagers/college students steal, it’s a OMG…alert congress…those thieves, but when copyrights-cartel do that, that’s OK…i guess

What is truly interesting here if you look at the numbers. SONY treats digital sales like CD sales. So this implies artists only make 6.4% of the profits SONY gets. (I’m assuming other major labels arent too different). And 4.5% of the actual retail price. So a typical $13.99 CD sold at BestBuy, BestBuy takes something close to an iTunes cut ($4.23), Label takes ($9.89) and the Artist or Entire Band gets ($0.63) Which holds to what people have stated that artists make less than a buck on every CD sold. Ridiculous. Sure, figure in promotion, label name, studio time, production & distribution costs and all that, but still it seems obvious some industry cats are gettin much fatter, because with collective sales, thats usually a nice heapin helpin. Thats OK because the next 10 years will prove out how true musicians can reach their fans in creative and more profitable ways, and rake more money than they ever did though the big labels. Or at least the money will spread around better to artists that actually go out and consistently earn what they get. People want real music not this candy coated, quick push-it-out-the-door crap. If they get that (real creative efforts), people will support the effort given. So much of the music is literally crap these days, not CREATIVE and inspired. Instead just pushing artists to come up with a sound that will sell from airplay and controlling everything far too much. What is played and promoted on the Radio is controlled by the labels, so are publications like BILLBOARD magazine - all Industry puppets to promote the stuff they want to push on people. But thanks to a different world that has come along, more and more people are discovering better music in other ways. Basically if the Industry (as we know it in countries like America) doesnt adapt like it should have 7 years ago, it will be GONE, this is a FACT. The internet and efforts by labels in countries like Canada will help make things better in the long run, for EVERYONE. So much more to say but I am outta typing juice.

Not unsurprising given that may '04, Sony Bmg was sitting on well over USD$50 MILLION IN UNPAID ROYALTIES, to big name recording Artists like Madonna, David Bowie and whole host of other artists and groups in from the sixties to the current century! They not only were fined for late payment of royalty cheques(checks), they gave a formal legal undertaking to Eliot Spitzer to not to revert back to the old habit, of deliberately underpaying the artists, and using the balance of the funds for illegal undertaking such as bribery and other chicanery! Obviously many people at senior management level from the CEO down, at SONY BMG, may have deliberately decided that they are above the law at all times! to ignore many and/or all legal requirements as required by their signed undertaking with “Eliot Spitzer’s Office of The New York State Attorney General”, to pay royalties accrued on a timely basis, unlike the other distribution agencies around the world Given the high levels of contributions kick into the company coffers from music from the late 50’s to the early 90’s, continued theft from these funds, to pay for the next generation clones would not be unheard of given those large values of cleared funds, to use on other nefarious activities, IE such as suing illegal downloaders, becuase the modern contracts are written with very specific money clauses, and subject to more precise external audit requirements by independent non record company controlled accountants and auditors! It does show, wholesale theft from both the public and recording artists, is continuing unabated in this new century! Given the legal agreement signed under company seal in '04 with New York State,it will be very difficult for SONY’s attorney’s to defend themselves in any open court, once this document is filed in evidence for the plaintiff!!! If you visit Eliot’s official web site and type in Sony, you will be able to see eliot is running 2 big strikes to all no balls from Sony!:X

It’s so sad to see artists been ripped off.

@heystoopid That is the whole problem not p2p, who wants to work in an industry that works that way? They have been stealling IP from ppl (see matrix etc), underpaying them (when they have already set up a system to pay them as little as possible as it is) their cut. Then you have price fix and on and on…

When we bought music online, we are told that we are LICENSED to listen to the music only, so we have very limited rights. When artists get paid, things get different. It does not make much sense to me… Consumers and artists always get the least benefit. How about the million dollar RIAA has collected so far? How much do artists get from that?

Good news for consumers! Perhaps the Artists will drop the RIAA and do what Metallica has done for many years. Metallica makes, market, and says the hell with RIAA rules and regualations. They get help marketing and making music but they have the final say so. Damn them for killing the old Napster! They also banned Columbia House and BMG Music from selling their music. Artists need to get together and start another Company (Union) and compete with the main RIAA to keep their fans and costomers.

Interesting comment there re:Metallica, as memory serves Metallica were one of the first bands to publically denounce filesharersing and with the help of their record company were one of the first bands to sue the original incarnation of Napster leading to it’s ventual demise… I have nothing against Metallica in general, and I recall reading that in recent years they had changed their views regarding Filesharing… however that does not excuse from them the fact that they helped create the mess we all now have to deal with. Just my Two Cents…

Metallica sued because music that they hadn’t yet released was being downloaded. I remember an interview where they said they didn’t care if people downloaded their music, they just did want the music downloaded before it was released.

typo, it should have said they just did NOT want the music downloaded before it was released.

This goes to show that many in the industry really don’t give a shit about artists or writers and the public doesn’t give a shit about the whole mess. Musicians are pretty much screwed at this point. Many look at the majors as the only chance to make it big and get a payoff. Few musicians have any business sense and if they did they would have spent less in partying and more on organizing a united business model that would have produced a viable label ran by artists. Any idiot knows the industry has a long track record when it comes to artists royalties. Yet, the artists continue to flock to the industry begging for a deal and the public continues to buy lackluster product from the majors. Why wouldn’t the corporations continue their pattern of behavior - We reward them for conducting business as they do. As PT Barnham said…there is a sucker born every minute. The solution is simple, but until artists develop a unified organization that makes this creative accounting a painful and expensive risk to record companies nothing will change. Until people cut off the funding to the industry by keeping their money or going to independent alternative lables nothing with change. We live in a society where a radio stations or Billboard reports that a song is hot and real adults jump on the bandwagon and run out and buy what they are told to vuy… like sheep heading to slaughter. When you can force the public to buy music on its merits then you will have accomplished something. When artists realize that they are no more than industry puppets perhaps you will see a change…I doubt anything is going to change for the better because we all sit around waiting for someone else to do something.

[edited by rla on 30.04.2006 06:30]

Radio Stations & Billboard charts are all B.S. I worked in radio and the countdowns are all predetermined a few days before they air each night, and the big countdown shows are payed off by the record companies to place their songs high on the chart or at no.1 Hell, we used to put some crappy songs at No. 1 just cuz Sony would give us all free Cd,s T-Shirts, Concert Tickets and more… It’s all false, faked, lies, setup to sucker you into buying what they want you to buy… brainwashing basically.

Instead of buying CDs, I think I’ll just send a $10 bill to every band I like and then I can download their whole catalog, guilt free. Except for Led Zeppelin, I think they’ll all come out a ahead on that deal and the big labels will get bupkis.

That might be true for the smaller local stations, or even the bigger ones in the likes of the US, but in the UK we have mainly 2 charts, one from the BBC and Independant Radio (who everyone else uses). They are actually strictly monitored so no tampering can be done (and if the top 20 on each don’t match then it does look a bit fishy). A few years ago one record label tried to make one of their lame-ass songs go to number one by telling all their staff to go out and buy 100’s of copies each. HMV (a rather big music store if you don’t know) thought their stock was going down rather fast and when they found people buying 20-30 copies at a time (and it had happened in different stores all over the UK) they told whoever compiles the charts and the song was banned for two weeks! Now that’s how it should be done :d