TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Time for the Recording Industry to Face the Music

Re: Time for the Recording Industry to Face the Music

Dave Garland (
Wed, 30 Mar 2005 16:00:38 -0600

It was a dark and stormy night when wrote:

> Well then, what would be an appropriate royalty for musicians and
> price for CDs? Well-known recording artists seem to be living quite
> well.

Actually, most musicians make their money from concerts and maybe
merchandising. "Few musicians ever actually receive royalties from
their record sales on major labels", even including name bands like the
Backstreet Boys (NYT article reprinted at ), and individuals like
Janis Ian, who said "in 37 years as a recording artist, I've created 25+
albums for major labels, and never once received a royalty check that
didn't show I owed _them_ money" ( ) and David Byrne
( ).

Royalties get paid on "profits", and the recording industry is as
ingenious as Hollywood in creative accounting practices that ensure
there never will be anything labelled a profit. The economics for a
hypothetical successful band are described in an entertainment column:

Of course, none of that is to say that the record companies aren't
entitled to make some money. But it's misleading to suggest that shared
music steals food from the tables of the creators of the music.

(Sorry, stretch as I may, the only ObTelecom I can think of is "and the
recording companies use _telephones_ in plotting their nefarious deeds"
:-D )

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