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Termination Rights on Sound Recordings


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Can we just shoot the music and industry and put it out of its misery, because seeing it struggle against this slow death it's dying is making me cringe!

Seriously, it does seem like a legal mess. I only read the first article. I agree with the part about the artists being more like contractors, but I imagine the legal issues are far more complicated. As for the issue of who gets the royalties where many people are involved in a recording, maybe those who have writing credits should be the ones? That would simplify things a bit, but then you've got all those arguments about who deserves writing credits.

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I think artists should own their master tapes 10 years after each one's released, give the artist the back catalog to shop around to other record companies, and let them keep the greatest hits, because that's what they'll make money off of anyway.

The biggest labels at that time were Columbia and Warners. Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Prince, Springsteen. S

It's pitting entertainment lawyer vs entertainment lawyer, so this should be real interesting. It is "Clash of the Titans" as far as the industry goes.

Don Henley's been very involved in all of this for years.


Expect a lot of out of court settlements and artists gaining their master tapes. Island Records was one of the few record company giving master tape ownership to the artists in exchange for really low royalty rates. U2 had a sweet deal, Island was so broke they wound up with ownership of the company. I don't think they ever gave it up, either, but that put them in a really good place financially. Spider Man is doing well on Broadway, so Bono's prob. not hurting for cash right now.

Most musicians are telling people who want to get into music to learn as much as they can about the business end of it, and in general, most artists are way more business savvy than the ones that came before them. Know what you're signing and have a lawyer read that stuff - most do. Realize that advance money is just another word for a loan, but a broke band is exactly what record companies want, and they want to keep them hungry for as long as possible.

I think the record company's importance is to back, promote and distribute, but the more control you want, the less money you're going to get. I think some artists learned how to work at keeping the cost low, when you look into how "Dark Side of the Moon" came along, it was mostly developed on the road, and maybe 6 weeks TOTAL in the studio. And then when it came out, toured for another year or two.

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